Legal hermeneutics of the supreme court decision in Akintokun v LPDC: Need for progressivism in judicial exegesis
Judicial interpretation is the mainstay of every legal system in the world. It is for the judiciary as it is often said to interpret and expound the law and not to expand same. The need for this exclusive role of the Judiciary is brought to bear due to imprecision, imperfection and inaccuracy attendant to human nature. The various arms of government involved in the running of any government cannot close its eyes to these errors. The Supreme Court in case under consideration held that appeal to from the direction of Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee lies to the Appeal Committee of the Body of Benchers. The court as it were affirmed an error by a branch of the executive arm of government when it had the opportunity to right the wrongs. In arriving at its decision, the court considered two inconsistent decisions of the court i.e. Charles Okike v LPDC (No.1) and Jide Aladejobi. The court followed the latter decision though not overruling the former. It is argued in this discourse that a progressive approach toward the law favour the decision in Charles Okike v LPDC. The Court, presumably, in order to defend its latter position went against all known positive and sociological approach in the exercise of judicial powers. The judgment in Akintokun’s case is capable of eroding the powers of the legislators and laws made by them. The position taken by the court in our most honest consideration calls for review and subsequent abandonment as it is not 21st century oriented.
Keywords: Legal Practitioner, Discipline, Appeals, Supreme Court and Amendment