Summit: Nigeria’s Legal Education Curriculum Outdated, Obsolete, Say Osinbajo, Babalola, Akpata

Summit: Nigeria’s Legal Education Curriculum Outdated, Obsolete, Say Osinbajo, Babalola, Akpata

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and a Legal Luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) have said there was urgent need for the country to rejig its legal system through effective reworking of the education curriculum to be in tandem with the global best practices.

The elder statesmen and lawyers perceived the obsolete curriculum being operated in the sector , as posing the biggest challenge confronting the country’s legal education.

The legal giants spoke in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital yesterday at the 2022 Legal Education Summit organised by the Nigerian Bar Association in collaboration with Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

They insisted on the need for holistic overhaul of the curriculum to reflect the contemporary realities, saying the existing one had not kept pace with global development and societal needs.

Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Professor of Law, noted the Nigerian law schools are still producing lawyers that could not measure up to contemporary benchmark and the global best practices in the legal profession.

The number two man added that “a well-articulated review of the obsolete curriculum would ensure a critical roles in ensuring the Nigerian Law graduates acquire qualitative legal education and compete favorably with their contemporaries.

“There was need for the Law graduates to be subjected to intense practical training that theoretical aspect had exposed them to, so that they can have a mastery of the intricacies of the legal profession”, Osinbajo said.

Addressing the gathering, comprising legal giants and academics, Babalola faulted the recent creation of six new law schools, saying that the proliferation of the training grounds would not solve the problem of access to legal education.

The legal icon noted that the best way to address the problem of access to quality legal education was for the government to establish centralised law school with modern facilities and seasoned faculty members of international repute.

“It’s common knowledge today that there is not a single one of all the existing law schools in the country that has modern equipment, libraries, internet facilities, E- libraries and modern ICT infrastructures.

“Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense to create more mushroom campuses not least for political expediency.The training of lawyers ought to be decentralized in line with the current arrangements for WAEC, NECO and ICAN examinations.

“For me, what we need is a Central Law School. The law school, which should be a regulatory body will provide a curricula for training for law graduate, supervise the university which will train graduates for the law school examination, set final examinations for students who would be called to the Bar.

“It would also accredit universities which have Law colleges to train the graduate lawyers for 12 months after which they will take a common examination which would be moderated by the central law school.

“So, with these proposed arrangements, the law graduates will proceed to these reputable colleges/faculties of law with up-to-date facilities and faculty member of international repute for their post-LL. B training and only to write their Call to the Bar Examinations without having to be residential student in any Law school as is currently the case.

“This way, the hydra-headed problems of paucity of funding, derelict facilities and inadequate accomodations space would have been solved”, he said.

In his submission, the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata, corroborated Osinbajo and Babalola on the need to review the curriculum, saying experience with fresh law graduates had shown that they lack the requisite knowledge to fit into today’s law practice.

He lamented that the curriculum being used in the universities and the Nigerian Law School had hardly changed over the years, saying that there was urgent need to revise the present curriculum to meet the global developmental challenge.

“It is truism the quality legal education is an essential elements and ingredients to legal professionals who are competently representing clients and contribute to the establishment of the rule of law. But, our country’s legal standard has declined in all its measure.

“This is as a result of general decline in the Nigeria’s educational standard which has played role in undermining our ailing system of legal education and training of law graduates that can compete with their contemporaries”, Akpata added.


Culled from ThisDay

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