The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen has called for a synergy between judges and legal/research assistants in order to improve the quality of judicial service in the administration of justice in the country.
Justice Onnoghen stated this on Wednesday, shortly before he declared open, the 2018 national workshop for legal and research assistants organised by the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.
Speaking on the relationship between a judge and the legal assistants, the CJN opined that there ought to exist a synergy between them in order to ensure effectiveness.
“A good legal assistant is an asset to a judge as he/she eases the job of the judicial officer. However, on the contrary, a lazy legal assistant compounds the work of the judicial officer.
“Therefore, the relationship must be cordial and professional, but you must ensure that you maintain a high degree of decorum and respect,” the CJN said.
“The manifestation of these relationship yardsticks is imperative not only for the image of judicial officers and the legal assistants involved, but also for the image of the Nigerian judiciary as a whole,” Onnoghen stated.
Justice Onnoghen said the workshop became necessary as it will help enrich the capacity of research assistants in the discharge of your duties.
“The significance of the role played by research assistants in aiding judicial officers in the task of adjudication, especially when it comes to judgment writing cannot be overemphasised,” she added.
He said the theme of this year’s workshop, “Supporting the Courts Through Effective Legal Research” was apt, as it “provides a pedestal upon which the effectiveness and efficiency of legal and research assistants will be increased and deployed.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Administrator of National Judicial Institute, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (rtd) said the workshop was aimed at deepening the knowledge and competence of the participants in performing their duties effectively.
“This workshop is intended to stimulate your thoughts, and also reaffirm the judiciary’s trust and recognition for of the pivotal role that legal and research assistants play in the day to day administration of justice in our courts”.
“It is also a forum, which invariably provides the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas, views and strategies that will help improve research methodologies of and outcomes” Bozimo stated.