Author: O. M. Atoyebi S.A.N FCIArb. (U.K.)., Contributor: Romeo Pupu
In medieval times, communication between people could only occur directly, or by sending a letter through a third party. However, the world has changed drastically. Since then, the introduction and usage of cell phones, the internet, and other developments have made life easier for people. At the centre of all these changes is Technology.
Technology is defined by the 10th edition of the Black’s Law Dictionary on Page 1692, as modern equipment, machines, and methods based on contemporary knowledge of science and computers. In simple terms, Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical human goals. The most prevalent application of Technology is the use of certain devices such as computers, scanners, telephones, photocopy and fax machines etc. However, Technology has also been applied in a wide range of other fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Medical Technology, Information Communication Technology, etc.
Technology has impacted almost every sphere of human life. Every element of human activity has been affected by technology, whether in a beneficial or detrimental way. This holds true for the Nigerian legal system as well. The main focus of this article is to examine the impact of Technology on the Nigerian Legal System.
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Technology plays a very crucial role in legal education and practice in Nigeria. The Nigerian legal system has been impacted by technology in the following ways:
VIDEO CONFERENCINGThe COVID-19 pandemic produced fundamental changes in the Nigerian legal system and opened the door to the usage of video conferencing innovations, which have now become ubiquitous. Video conferencing has eliminated physical barriers that could have hampered collaboration. Lawyers can now meet and negotiate with their clients from anywhere using video conferencing. It has also aided legal education by allowing students to attend online lectures. The pandemic also introduced the concept of Remote Court Proceedings (RCP) into the Nigerian legal system. Although this has not yet been fully adopted, it is in the planning stages.
Technology has not come to replace lawyers but to make their jobs easier, faster, and more precise. However, those who are unprepared for the changes that technology is bringing and has already brought to the legal system will undoubtedly fall behind.