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Administration of justice in Nigeria: a case for allowing former judicial officers to return to full legal practice

T.A. Yusuf


Judicial officers are judges of the superior courts in Nigeria. This class of judges is constitutionally, by the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession (RPC) and other statutory provisions barred from returning to full legal practice upon their exit from judicial office for whatever reason. This restriction we believe has negative effects upon the administration of justice. Such negative effects in our opinion include but are not limited to timidity and inefficiency. One finds it difficult to fathom not to talk of rationalizing the reason(s) (aside from a mere convention of the English legal system) behind this restriction. Thus, it is the aim of this paper to make a case for the amendment of the Constitution and other relevant statutes as regards these restrictive provisions so that any time a judicial officer feels he can no longer continue or has to discontinue the task(s) of judgeship, he should be free to resume full fledged legal practice if he so desires.

Keywords: Administration of Justice, Former Judicial Officers, Legal Practice, Advocacy, Nigeria