…as Bill passes second reading

A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap L11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Legal Practitioners Act, 2021 to provide for reforms and regulate the legal profession; and for related matters sponsored by Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Mr Onofiok Luke, and members of the Committee, has today passed through second reading in the House of Representatives, Abuja.

Leading the debate on the Bill, Luke stated that “the objectives of the Bill, among others, are to: confer additional statutory responsibility on the Body of Benchers, being the body of legal practitioners of the highest distinction in the legal profession in Nigeria charged with the primary responsibility of formal Call to Bar of persons desirous of becoming lawyers, and to further strengthen its disciplinary control over erring lawyers through the creation of more Disciplinary Committees; and to further strengthen and streamline the effective regulation of the legal profession as well as empower the bureaucracy of the Body of Benchers, which hitherto, was merely playing the role of the Body’s Secretariat, for better legal service delivery.”

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Explaining the purport of the Bill, Luke stated that “one of the major purports of this Bill is for Body of Benchers to carry out reforms that will have a far-reaching effect on the legal profession and Nigerians who are in the quest for justice. The provisions of the Bill are structured in a way and manner that meet the required standards and modern day development in the legal profession. This is against the backdrop of the fact that some of the provisions of the extant Act have become obsolete, and need to be updated in order to bring them in line with international best practices.”

The lawmaker said that the passage of the Bill will strengthen the legal profession and reposition it to meet the challenges of the 21st Century in line with global legal standards and practices, and called on his colleagues to support its passage.

The Bill was passed for second reading and referred to the relevant committee for further legislative work.

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