Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Trains Lawyers on Ethics

By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo
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The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme of the British Council supported by European Union (EU) has trained 63 lawyers who are members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuna on Ethics and Codes of Conduct.

The two-day training was aimed at building the capacity of the lawyers on ethical principles critical to the legal profession.

The professional and ethical conduct of members of the NBA is frequently challenged, when they make decisions that serve or compromise access to justice for the clients.

Issues such as the socio-cultural context of situations could dictate how lawyers make judgments and arrive at conclusions to determine pathways to uphold the civic rights of persons and communities, justice or access to justice for citizens and even for themselves

The training with the theme of "the rationale for a training in Ethics" examined the socio-cultural contexts that pose challenges and opportunities for the work of members of the NBA, and the legal profession and its ethical requirements.

The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme is funded by the European Union 11th EDF. It is being implemented in five states in Nigeria - Kano, Lagos, Anambra, Edo and Adamawa and at the Federal level.

The programme aims to enhance good governance in Nigeria by contributing to the strengthening of the rule of law, curbing corruption and reducing impunity through support to criminal justice and anti-corruption reform and supporting initiatives to enhance access to justice for women, children, and persons with disabilities.

The Chairman of NBA, Abuja branch, Mr Folarin Aluko said the training came at a better time when the nation's democratic institutions have been subjected to severe public scrutiny and opprobrium.

His words "The legal profession plays a very critical role in upholding Nigeria’s Democratic institutions. The moral justification for this sacred role is founded upon our ethics of our profession and our rules of professional conduct."

"This training couldn’t have come at a better time than now when our democratic institutions have been subjected to severe public scrutiny and opprobrium."

"As it stands, we are at a turning point. There is no doubt that the 2007 Rules of Professional Conduct need to be amended to provide a platform for Lawyers to be competitive in the Digital Economy."

"At NBA Abuja our members seek out every opportunity to grow and bridge the knowledge gap and we are confident that our members will build on this training to provide quality legal services to our society and pro bono legal services to the indigent", Aluko said.