In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the National Judicial Council (NJC) has announced guidelines for the utilisation of technology in the dispensation of justice.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, said that the Council has approved virtual sittings for all heads of courts, allowing them use collaborative virtual platforms such as Microsoft 365, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, along with other platforms with recording functionalities.
Justice Muhammad also said the use of social media channels will be employed for live-streaming court proceedings to the public, while matters to be heard for the week will also be published weekly.
He said, ‘Physical sittings by courts in courtrooms should be avoided as much as possible during this [Covid-19] period. Such physical court sittings must be limited only to time-bound, extremely urgent, and essential matters that may not be heard by the court remotely or virtually’.
He continued further, ‘Heads of courts have the responsibility for determining the matters that fall within these set boundaries and publish the list thereof for the information of judicial officers, litigants, counsel and members of the public. Such list may be reviewed by the head of the court from time to time as necessary and required’.
The council also approved the use of face masks and thermometers at court premises, while adhering to social distancing.
Source: Daily Trust
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