By Chris Ndibe
The Nigerian Maritime Law Association has inaugurated a 16-member committee to ensure review of procedural rules and substantive laws in boosting industry confidence in dispute resolution and efficiency of Admiralty law and practice in Nigeria.
The President of the Association, Chidi Ilogu, (SAN), said the proposed review also aimed at fast tracking speed in filing, assignment, hearing and determination of admiralty matters in Nigeria.
Ilogu said that the association had observed the steady decline in admiralty law and practice over the years, as a result of sub-optimal procedural rules and poor judicial interpretation of substantive laws.
According to him, judicial decisions have not been consistent with standard global expectations while speed, which is the heart of functional admiralty litigations, had taken a back-seat.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) explained that as a result, a number of significant maritime interests were no longer keen on having Nigeria as a jurisdiction for adjudication of their disputes.
According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Law Association is leading efforts toward the reform of key procedural rules and substantive laws in boosting industry confidence in dispute resolution and efficiency of Admiralty law and practice in Nigeria.
“To achieve this goal, the association has, therefore, constituted the Nigeria Admiralty Law and Procedure Reform Committee to contribute to this effort.
“The Advisory members of the committee include: Prof. Gbolahan Elias, SAN; Mr Dolapo Akinrele, SAN; Dr Wale Olawoyin, SAN; and Mr Olumide Sofowora, SAN,” Ilogu said.
He, however, said that the committee was expected to propose initiatives and implementation strategies toward repositioning admiralty law practice in the country and the report be submitted on or before May 26, 2020.