Stakeholders applaud impact of maritime seminar for judges
On Thursday, some stakeholders applauded the maritime seminar for judges, saying it would enable them to deal effectively and efficiently with maritime cases in court.
The 16th International Maritime Seminar for Judges is held in Abuja and is organized by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
Dr. Emeka Akabogu, Senior Partner, Akabogu and Associates, said the seminar gave the judges an understanding of the rule of Admiralty law and its importance relative to other areas of law.
“You need speed; you often need immediate action because you are dealing with ships, which are international in nature.
“Vessels move from one jurisdiction to another, they enter the country, spend a few days and have to leave, in some cases they are at rest and different things.
“Thus, judges have a better understanding of the importance of admiralty law in the context of the law in general and are able to act quickly on it.
“This particular edition is significant as it incorporates judges from all the starter courts, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court; and incorporating their presence; they are exposed to the most difficult things.
“The subjects that have been defined on the program are those that are the most difficult at the moment.
“So if you watch the program, you will see discussions on standard operating procedures in ports, current issues that affect business settlement, business management in the application of technology, etc.
“We hope that ultimately judges will return home better equipped to carry out their duties in their offices.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, said judges who attended the seminar had become better equipped with knowledge of rudimentary maritime laws needed to deal with complex maritime claims and cases.
According to him, the seminar is designed, among other things, to familiarize participants with emerging trends in the field of admiralty law and the challenges that digitalization and globalization can pose on the settlement of admiralty cases.
Likewise, Justice Bode Vivour said that the seminar provided a specialized forum for judicial officers to be equipped with the skills and knowledge required as a means of effective and efficient judicial resolution of maritime cases.
“The judicial system, as we all know, is the lifeline of democratic societies. The need to strengthen our respective judicial systems cannot be overstated.
“An effective justice system is an essential pillar of an efficient economy and plays a vital role in a nation’s economic performance.
“A strong and independent judiciary in which decisions are rendered fairly, transparently in a timely manner and in accordance with internationally recognized standards, encourages foreign and local private sector investment.