The proposed Legal Professional Regulation Act has removed multiple regulators for the profession. In their place is an apex regulator called the Legal Profession Regulation Council of Nigeria.
Presently, the regulation of the legal profession is shared between the Bar Council, Body of Benchers, Council of Legal Education, NBA, the Privileges Committee, the Disciplinary Committee, the Remuneration Committee, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Supreme Court. All these bodies are almost independent organs without oversight by any other body.
The Current State sub-committee of the LPRRC found that “these are multiple bodies carrying out inter-related regulatory functions over the legal profession” and recommended the merging of these regulatory functions.
In the future law, the Body of Benchers, the Disciplinary Committee (now called Professional Conduct Committee), the Remuneration Committee (whose functions have been transferred to the Legal Aid and Welfare Committee), and the Privileges Committee are now committees of the Legal Profession Regulation Council.
The Bar Council will cease to exist; the Attorney-General of the Federation will no more have powers to prescribe practice fees; and the NBA will now have only a representative role and not a regulatory role.
The Supreme Court will cease to collect practice fees and keep the role of lawyers.
The Legal Profession Regulation Council will now keep the roll of lawyers, prescribe and collect practice fees, issue call to bar certificates and make rules and regulations for MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education and professional development).
The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker
Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN (Chair of the Future State of the Legal Profession Subcommittee of the LPRRC)
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