Ayoola tasks stakeholders on improvement of legal education
Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola has called on stakeholders in the legal profession, the judiciary and other relevant authorities to work towards improving the quality of legal education in the country.
He made the call in his welcome address at the Regional Dialogue on Legal Education with the theme: “Beyond the NUC Bench mark” held at the Ayoola Institute and Resource Centre, Ibadan.
He said: “My urgent appeal to the nation is that more attention should be paid to legal education in all its ramification. Law teachers should not only be well remunerated but also well equipped. Every sector of legal education should be better funded than it is now. A nation can only be as great as the vibrancy and quality of its laws.”
Ayoola who is the visioner of the Dialogue said the initiative was motivated by the need to “generate best practices and approaches that can be employed to redesign legal education and make it responsive to contemporary realities and needs of society.”
According to him, the objective of the dialogue was to brainstorm on the content of legal education in the Nigerian university system and to evaluate the extent to which the content prepares law students to be able to adequately respond to the needs of the legal profession, public sector and society at large.
He said: “In particular, it will review and evaluate existing curriculum for legal education in Nigeria with a view to advocating the improvement of not only teaching methodology but also the introduction of new subjects. This would also involve the identification of key skills that the law students should acquire in the course of legal education to enable a smooth transition from the university to the law school and eventually to the service of all sectors of society.”
Speaking further on the imperative of the initiative, the former ICPC Chairman explained that it was for the benefit of society, and particularly, the legal system, the legal profession and the judiciary to have a sound legal education system in place.
“The quality of law we apply and administer can only be as good as the quality of education imparted to law students. If there is no creativity and critical thinking in legal education the legal practitioner and the judge are retarded from achieving excellence, nationally or internationally,” he said.
Participants in the dialogue included key stakeholders from the legal profession, the judiciary and prominent law teachers in leading Nigerian universities as well as undergraduate and post graduate students from selected institutions.
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