Mohammed Tsav: Interrogating The Impact Of Certain Innovations In Enhancing The Administration And Delivery Of Justice In Nigeria


In recent years, certain innovations have begun to transform the administration and delivery of justice in Nigeria, marking a potential turning point in the country’s legal system. These innovations have the potential to enhance access to justice, improve efficiency, and promote transparency in the judicial process.
Certainly, the impact of innovations on enhancing the administration and delivery of justice in Nigeria is profound and multifaceted. Several innovations have emerged, each contributing to various aspects of the justice system.
Nigeria has seen significant advancements in the use of technology and innovation to enhance the administration and delivery of justice especially in Criminal cases. From the digitization of court processes to the introduction of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, these innovations have had a significant impact on the Nigerian legal system and have the potential to improve access to justice for all citizens.In scrutinizing these innovations, there are procedural and technological innovations that have been introduced. We cannot afford to overlook the effects of ArtificialIntelligence, the human redundancy agent. Here are some key novelties and their impact on the administration of justice system in Nigeria:
1. The enabling laws: as you must agree the justice system will not work without its main tools which are the enabling Laws. With the introduction of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, it carries along with it a manifest attempt to unify our criminal procedure laws in one law. We have the Evidence Act 2011 as amended which provides for the admissibility of electronic evidence. We Have the EFCC Act 2004, ICPC Act 2000, the Arbitration and Mediation Act2023, the Cyber Crimes Act 2015, and the Data Protection Act 2018, all contain innovative regimes for and in aid of the administration of justice in Nigeria.

2. Electronic Case Management Systems: One of the key innovations that have transformed the justice system in Nigeria is the digitization of court processes. The introduction of electronic filing systems and remote court appearances have made the legal process more efficient and streamlined, reducing the time and resources needed for litigation.
This has not only improved the speed of justice delivery but has also made the legal system more accessible to those who may not be able to physically attend court proceedings.

Implementing digital case management systems has streamlined the handling of cases, reducing paperwork and manual errors. It enables judges, lawyers, and other stakeholders to access case files remotely, accelerating the judicial process.
The introduction of electronic courtrooms equipped with video conferencing facilities has improved access to justice, especially for remote and marginalized communities, such as the Borno and Lagos State High Courts of Justice. It reduces the need for physical presence in courtrooms, saving time and resources for both the judiciary and litigants.
Online Dispute Resolution [ODR]: ODR platforms provide alternative mechanisms for resolving disputes online, offering convenience, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness.
They help in decongesting courts by diverting certain cases away from traditional litigation processes.
The various multi door Court Houses of the various Superior Courts in Nigeria, come to light.Another important innovation that has impacted the delivery of justice in Nigeria is the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Mediation, Conciliation, Negotiation, and Arbitration have become increasingly popular in resolving disputes outside of the traditional court system, offering a quicker and less costly resolution for parties involved. This has helped to reduce the backlog of cases in the courts and has provided effective alternative ways to resolve disputes in a more amicable manner.
3. Use of Technology: One of the most significant innovations in recent years has been the adoption of technology in the judicial system. The introduction of e-filing systems, electronic case management tools, and online dispute resolution platforms have helped streamline court processes, reduce paperwork, and improve access to justice for individuals across the country. Technology has also facilitated remote court hearings, making it easier for people in remote areas to participate in legal proceedings.
Biometric Identification Systems: Integration of biometric identification systems in prisons and courtrooms enhances security and helps in the management of inmates and case participants. It reduces identity fraud and ensures the integrity of the justice process.
LegalTech Solutions: various LegalTech startups have emerged, offering innovative solutions such as AI-powered legal research tools, case prediction algorithms, and document automation software. These tools assist legal professionals in conducting research, drafting documents, and analyzing case outcomes efficiently. And the serving of Court Processes on litigants by social media platforms such as WhatsApp accounts.
Furthermore, the introduction of technology in the legal sector has enabled lawyers and judges to access legal resources and information more efficiently, enabling them to make better-informed decisions.
Online legal research platforms, case management systems, and virtual libraries have made it easier for legal professionals to access relevant information and stay updated on legal developments
, some of these are Legal Blogs, Lawpavillion, Lawbreed,, etc. 4. Mobile Court Reporting Apps: Mobile applications for court reporting allow journalists and the public to access real-time updates on court proceedings. This fosters transparency and accountability within the justice system, enhancing public trust and confidence.The introduction of electronic online reports, such as Lawpavillion, Lawbreed etc.
5. Legal Aid Services Portals: Online portals offering legal aid services provide valuable resources and assistance to indigent individuals who cannot afford legal representation. It promotes equal access to justice and ensures that all citizens can effectively navigate the legal system.
Innovations in legal aid services have helped bridge the gap between those who can afford legal representation and those who cannot. Legal aid clinics, pro bono services, and online legal resources have made it easier for indigent individuals to access legal information and representation, ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice regardless of their financial status; like the NBA website platform find a lawyer.
6. Data-driven Decision-Making: The use of data analytics and legal research tools has enabled policymakers and legal practitioners to make more informed decisions about legal reforms and resource allocation.
By analyzing data on case outcomes, court backlogs, and legal trends, stakeholders can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted interventions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system.
The use of Zoom and Webinar platforms training innovations, The NBA website and platforms are all innovations geared at efficiently transforming the administration of justice in Nigeria.
7. Legal Awareness Campaigns: Innovations in legal awareness campaigns have helped educate the public about their rights and responsibilities under the law. By increasing legal literacy among citizens, these campaigns empower individuals to advocate for themselves, seek legal redress when necessary, and hold authorities accountable for upholding the rule of law. The EndSARS campaign is a typical example, the NBA Branches Law Weeks, etc. While these innovations hold great promise for transforming the administration and delivery of justice in Nigeria, several challenges remain. These include issues related to data privacy and security, digital literacy, funding constraints, and the need for sustained political will to drive meaningful reforms.
Addressing these challenges will be crucial in ensuring that these innovations can fulfil their potential in advancing the rule of law and promoting access to justice for all Nigerians. Overall, these novelties have contributed to improving efficiency, accessibility, transparency, and fairness within the Nigerian justice system.
However, challenges such as digital literacy, infrastructure limitations, and regulatory frameworks need to be addressed to fully harness the potential of these innovations.
The digital divide, for example, remains a significant barrier to accessing justice for many citizens, particularly those in rural areas who may not have access to the internet or the necessary technology.
There is also a need for ongoing training and capacity-building for legal professionals to ensure they can effectively use these new tools and processes.
The unregulated advancement of Artificial Intelligence is definitely a cause for concern for all regulatory authorities and indeed the Nigerian legal system. Artificial Intelligence is coming on like a swarm of locust, with its good and bad effects; we do not know what it would leave behind.
In concluding, I must state that the most significant innovation and developmental tool is the mobile smart telephone, it does practically anything you tell it to do, and very soon it will start telling you what to do.
The impact of innovations on enhancing the administration and delivery of justice in Nigeria cannot be overstated. From the digitization of court processes to the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, these innovations have the potential to make the legal system more efficient, accessible, and transparent.
However, continued investment in technology, infrastructure, and capacity-building will be necessary to fully realize the benefits of these innovations and ensure that justice is accessible to all.
With these innovations; this is obviously a turning point in the Nigerian Legal system, we may and must struggle with its initial regulation.
However, I believe for the better, we can take lead from the European Union Artificial Intelligence Act 2024; and of course fine tune to suit our specific needs in Nigeria.
This is work in progress.
Thank you for listening.
Mohammed I. TSAV Esq. MCIArb.
Chairman-Emeritus,                                                              NBA Bwari Branch.

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