On Monday, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, stated that technology advancements have given the judiciary new chances and difficulties.
At the 2023 National Workshop for Judges on Legal Issues in Telecommunications, the CJN made this statement while lecturing on the topic of “The adjudication path in the digital era.”
“While technological advancement offers many advantages, it also introduces new legal challenges, and digital interaction necessitates a comprehensive framework that balances individual rights, societal obligations, and of course corporate liabilities,” he added.
He continued by saying that because technology is ever-evolving, judges must always adapt and improve the legal system.
Justice Ariwoola asserts that court officials must stay up to date with technological developments since “technology has fundamentally transformed how we communicate, access information, and conduct legal proceedings.”
“We must welcome this change while making sure that achieving justice is still at the top of our priorities.
“As judicial officers, we cannot deny that information technology and telecommunication services have surpassed the conventional method of providing court services, as the use of the internet is emerging as a significant aspect of this era with innovative and interactive influences on the public,” he continued.
The CJN pointed out that developments in the telecommunications industry have become increasingly important to modern judicial work and life, both inside and outside of the courtroom.
My Lords, it is also necessary to give consideration to how data privacy and information security law intersect. The massive volume of data produced and amassed in the digital sphere creates important issues related to privacy, security, and the defence of individual rights.
“As judicial officials, it is your duty to weigh the legal ramifications of data collection, storage, and use while striking a balance that fosters innovation while preserving privacy. Your Lordships will strengthen individual rights while fostering confidence in the digital economy.
“The development of virtual reality technology offers the administration of justice both opportunities and obstacles. This amazing technology has the power to completely alter how evidence is presented, how trials are run, and how justice is administered.
The public’s confidence in the judiciary depends on you, as judicial officers, to remain vigilant in addressing the ethical and legal implications of these technologies. Ensuring transparency, fairness, and the preservation of due process in virtual and augmented reality environments is essential.
The CJN also cautioned about the health risks brought on by technological advancements, emphasising the need to establish a balance between doing so and protecting our wellbeing.
Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), stated in his remarks that the Commission is working with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) to ensure that judges are aware of cybercrime and data breaches while carrying out their duties.
Making decisions on a wide variety of legal issues, from cybercrimes and data breaches to privacy violations and intellectual property conflicts, requires having this information.
“It is anticipated that as more transactions take place online, problems relating to rights, responsibilities, and liabilities and how they interact with worries about national security will also surface.
“Judges need to be well-versed in the intricacies of these systems to enable them to not only make just and equitable rulings and judgements, but also to contribute to maintaining public trust in the ever-expanding digital landscape,” the NCC boss continued. “As digital technologies continue to shape the way we communicate, conduct business, and share information.