The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has called on judges to protect Nigeria’s law in the face of the complexities the digital era has brought on the administration of justice.
The CJN gave the charge in Kano on Monday while declaring open the 2023 Annual Workshop for Judges on Legal Issues in Telecommunications organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) with the theme, “The Adjudicating path in a digital era”.
He said the judiciary was obliged to embrace the transformation occasioned by Information Communications Technology (ICT) while ensuring that doing justice remains at the forefront of our efforts.
“As judicial officers, recognizing the transformation nature of digital services and the erosion of national legislation is essential. The borderless digital realm has blurred traditional jurisdictional boundaries, posing challenges to the efficacy of national laws in the face of global digital platforms and services.
“As judicial officers, we must balance rights, liabilities and obligations in this digital era.
“While technological advancements offer numerous benefits, they also introduce new legal dilemmas. The rise of social media, online platforms and digital interactions necessitates a comprehensive framework that balances individual rights, societal responsibilities and corporate liabilities.
“The evolving nature of technology requires continuous adaptation and enhancement of regulatory frameworks.”
In his opening remark, the EVC/CEO of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, said the workshop was organized to engage the judiciary on how to adopt digital technologies in advancing the course of justice.
He added, “The commission’s goal in strategic collaboration with the NJI is to ensure that your lordships possess a comprehensive understanding of telecommunications. This is essential to making informed decisions on a wide range of legal matters, ranging from cybercrimes and data breaches to privacy violations and intellectual property disputes.
“As digital technologies continue to shape the way we communicate, conduct business, and share information, judges need to be well-versed in the intricacies of these systems to enable them not only to make just and equitable rulings and judgements but also contribute to maintaining public trust in the ever-expanding digital landscape.”