GOODWILL MESSAGE AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE RULE OF LAW DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION’S 5TH ANNUAL CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CONFERENCE 2023.
It is my delight to be present at this year’s conference. I sincerely appreciate the Rule of Law Development Foundation for the invitation extended to me to attend this event as Special Guest and deliver a goodwill message.
It is an established fact that Rule of Law Development Foundation (ROLDF) is an organization that has been at the forefront of the struggle for the promotion and entrenchment of the rule of law in Nigeria, Africa and the world. Its goal has always been to promote and encourage legislative advocacy skills within the ambit of the rule of law and to also promote the justice sector reforms.
The Rule of Law as we all know aims at ensuring durable system of laws, institutions, norms, and community commitment that delivers: accountability, just law, open government, and accessible and impartial justice. It aims at ensuring a society where the government and the governed are accountable under the law.
Issues relating to Rule of Law are key to peaceful co-existence of any society and very relevant to its socio-economic development. The rule of law fosters development through strengthening the voices of individuals and communities, by providing access to justice, ensuring due process and establishing remedies for the violation of rights.
A seminal function of the rule of law is to provide a general sense among the populace of a well-organized background structure for activities, and the sense that a measure of legal redress exists should things go wrong (notwithstanding a general lack of knowledge of the details of law).
The concept of the Rule of Law is fundamental to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The Rule of Law represents a principle of governance that all persons, institutions, entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated. Therefore, the Rule of Law ensures equitable access to justice, strengthens corruption-free institutions and nurtures peaceful societies.
Equal access to justice under the Rule of Law is central to reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind. It safeguards individuals rights, including those of vulnerable groups like women, children, and marginalized communities, facilitating their access to basic services and protection. The Rule of Law is also intrinsic to building effective, accountable institutions. These institutions play a pivotal role in upholding civil rights.
It is a known fact that democracy only thrive where Administration of Justice system is properly entrenched. That is why The Topic for this year’s conference which is tagged: Revitalization of the Administration of Justice in Nigeria: Federal Capital Territory Criminal Justice System in Focus” is apt and couldn’t have come at a better time. Administration of Criminal justice system (a pivotal aspect of the Rule of Law) in Nigeria, focuses on the leadership and operations of the various aspects of the criminal justice system, such as the counts and law enforcement, which work together to help prevent and punish crime. It is therefore existential towards ensuring peaceful societies where laws are respected and fairly applied. It further fosters an environment of security and stability. It deters violent conflict, promotes human rights, and encourages social and economic development.
It is to this end that I commend the Rule of Law Development Foundation for organizing this Conference where issues aimed at revitalizing the Administration of Justice, not just in FCT, but rather in Nigeria as a whole, will be discussed.
I equally seize this opportunity to commend all the stakeholders that have thought it necessary to organize this workshop, as well as all the participants herein present.
Let me particularly commend the ROLDF for its unmatched and unwavering commitment towards ensuring that Rule of Law is not only entrenched in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria but are also equitably practiced.
Today as we are partaker of this robust forum which boasts of notable personalities, I urge everyone present to pay attention to the fine points that will be highlighted.
Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot afford to further take much of your time having fully recognized that this is not an occasion for long speeches. It is an understatement to state that I am happy that that the event of today is taking place.
Once again, I congratulate all participants on this occasion and wish you all happy and hitch free deliberations.
I wish us all the very best of experience at this workshop.
I thank you all.Hon. Justice B. B. Kanyip, PhD, OF, FNIALS, FCTI, FCIArb, President,
National Industrial Court Nigeria.