Judiciary Affirms Best Practices In Adjudication Of SGBV Cases… As Lagos DSVA, Rolac Trains Judges And Magistrates.

The Honourable Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Kazeem Alogba at a  2- day training program held for Judges and Magistrates Judges and Magistrates drawn from the Family Courts and the Special Offences Courts (Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Courts) re-affirmed the Judiciary’s commitment towards ensuring best practices for the adjudication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State. At the event which was organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in partnership with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IlDEA) which took place at the Raddison Blu Hotel, The Hon Chief Jugde said the Lagos State Judiciary would continue  to be trailblazers in criminal adjudication in the Country. He noted that the Judiciary would continue to uphold and interpret the law. 

The Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary,  Petition and LASIEC,  Hon. Ladi Ajomale,  in his goodwill message applauded the Judiciary for their continued efforts in entrenching the rule of law.  He hailed the Judiciary for the launch of the Bail Information Management System (BIMS) which he noted would positively impact the information systems for cases and the attendants in adjudication processes. He gave assurance that the Legislative arm would continue to be in Synergy with the Judiciary.Also at the event,  the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary,  Ministry of Justice,  Mrs Titilayo ShittaBey -Jeje who was represented by Director – Office of the Public Defender,  Mrs Bunmi Adesomoju in her goodwill message said the Judiciary plays a critical role in the adjudication of sexual and gender based cases and the decisions have a profound impact on the lives of the survivors hence the need for continuous and regular trainings . For a more just and equitable society for all,  it is important for the judiciary to posses the knowledge and skills to adjudicate professionally which the training with the wide range of topics will avail. 

Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency in her welcome address underscored   the core requirements of the rule of law as good governance and a functioning justice system that carries out its duties fairly without bias or discrimination and is accessible to all.

“The Approach to justice must be concerned with ensuring that legal and judicial outcomes are themselves ‘just and equitable’, as complexities of the legal landscape are constantly evolving”

Vivour Adeniyi  said recent findings revealed a need to embark  on regular engagements with Judges and Magistrates to ensure that they are equipped with the latest information, techniques, and best practices, to enhance efficiency and access  to justice processes.She said the objectives of the training  was for enhanced knowledge of Judges and Magistrates on issues about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, enhanced access to justice that will increase convictions and serve as deterrence, Increase issuance of protection orders,  Increase usage/application of the provision of the Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2015 and Improved evidence gathering that will enable quick dispensation of justice.

Ajibola Ijimakinwa, State Project  Coordinator of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) program  funded by  European Union and managed by IDEA,  said the ROLAC programme has to do with strengthening the rule of law, curbing corruption and increasing access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities.

 “As you know, the DSVA has done quite a lot of work in fighting against SGBV in Lagos State. We are partnering with them to train judges and magistrates to increase the required pathways for victims of SGBV. The more our judiciary knows more about the law that protects the rights of victims, the more victims can get justice in Lagos State. That is why we are supporting this process happening today.

The programme is for 5 years and this is just the first year of implementing the programme. We hope to continue to support like organisations like DSVA, the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, Civil Society organisations, even the media that fights against SGBV in Lagos mainly because we want to support survivors to have access to justice. We know that if we don’t, we’ve not started doing what we are expected to.

 “You have Judges, Magistrates, the Courts, the Lagos DSVA , Civil Societies in Lagos, people and organisations that you can go to and report. Don’t suck it in, don’t suffer in silence. You have people that are willing to listen you and refer you to the right quarters”,  Ijimakinwa advised.The 2-day program featured a robust faculty with sessions facilitated by Dr. Funmi Bammeke, immediate past Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos and others including Mrs. Atinuke Odukoya, Executive Director of CEHWIN, Dr. Tolu Oko-Ighaire, Provost – Institute of Counselling in Nigeria, Dr. Babajide Martins, Director of Public Prosecutions , Dr. Funmi Akinola amongst others.

Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni

Lagos DSVA

29/11/2023

 

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