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Former ICPC Boss Makes Case For Improved Legal Education

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Former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Emmanuel Ayoola has called on stakeholders in the legal profession and the judiciary to work towards improving the quality of legal education in the country.

Ayoola, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, made the call while delivering a 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, Ibadanon Thursday.

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 noted the aim of the dialogue was 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 content of legal education in the Nigerian university system needs to be evaluated in order to prepare the students to be able to adequately respond to the needs of the legal profession, public sector and society at large.

Ayoola 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.”

He added that a sound legal education system would not only benefit the legal profession and the judiciary but also the larger society.

“The quality of law we apply and administer can only be as good as the quality of education imparted to law students,” explained the former ICPC chairman.

“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.”

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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