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Examining the requirements for conferment of the rank of senior advocate of Nigeria vis-à-vis decongestion of courts

I.L.I. Ikimi


The prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the legal profession is an enviable one. Considering the privileges accorded persons in this class and the attendant respect they command, aspirants to the Bar, young lawyers as well as some senior lawyers’ desire to attain such rank. Thus, such persons desirous of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria would intend to remain at the Bar and not move to the Bench. This paper considers the requirements for the conferment of this prestigious rank to deserving members of the legal profession who are not in the academia, as provided in the Guidelines for the Conferment of the Rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. The paper identifies a challenge posed by the requirements. Does the requirement for conferment impact positively or negatively on the courts; that is, in the light of court decongestion. Is there any measure that can be put in place to check the negative impact of the requirements on the courts (if any)? How do the requirements for conferment of the rank of SAN affect the ethical conduct of some lawyers that aspire to the enviable rank? These and other ensuing questions will be considered in this paper.

Keywords: Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Conferment of, Requirements, Decongestion of Courts