Bill to Amend Administration of Criminal Justice Scales Second Reading in Senate

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A bill seeking to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and other related matters, has scaled the second reading in the Senate.

According to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who sponsored the proposal, the bill will forestall the unjust conviction of persons by the nation’s judiciary.

“This bill seeks to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015, the sections contradicting the principles of fair hearing and court jurisdiction as provided in the Constitution,” the lawmaker told his colleagues during Wednesday’s plenary at the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

“This is to further avert some loggerheads between the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and the Constitution.”

The bill passed the first reading on June 30, 2020. It is the first time an attempt is made to amend the law since it became an Act in 2015.

“I hope we can agree that, with this amendment, we aspire to create a criminal justice administration legislation that is both more effective and more humane.

“By ‘more effective’, I mean that we should respond to crime in ways that produce socially desirable results—greater safety, less fear, less suffering, greater respect for the rule of law and less injustice—and that we do so efficiently, investing our precious financial and human resources in ways that maximise the results we desire,” Senator Kalu added.

“By ‘more humane’, I mean we should respond to crime in ways that recognise the humanity of those victimised by crime, those arrested and convicted of crime, and others who experience the ripple effects of crime and our justice system.

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“This affirmation of humanity, as I see it, incorporates values we hold dear in our democracy, such as equal protection of the laws, access to the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, and our fundamental belief in the dignity of the individual.”

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