Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, himself a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has expressed his admiration for the British Legal System and wished Nigeria could catch up with itsm”In our own profession, the British legal establishment stand out as the exemplars in self- preservation and the preservation of the commonwealth that the recognition of the obligations that attend the privilege of belonging to that profession. “By the strict enforcement of discipline, by strict rules of entry into the profession, strict rules of preferment to the rank of Queen’s Counsel (QC) and even stricter rules in judicial appointments, they have maintained the integrity, the prestige and the relevance of the British system of justice from generation to generation. “Such is the absolute trust in the British legal system, that today by the creation of extra-territorial jurisdiction for their courts, commercial disputes from all countries of the world can by agreement of parties be tried in the royal courts of justice in London.” Professor Osinbajo, who addressed the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria at its maden dinner in Lagos, said that the British legal profession attained such enviable position by rigorous self-regulation. “While I served as Attorney-General in Lagos State, I was called upon to write a mitigating reference for a senior Nigerian lawyer who was in practice in England. He was at the time, on the verge of losing his license to practice in the United Kingdom. Why? He was before the court of appeal in respect of a criminal matter. “In the course of arguing the appeal, the court hinted him that his position was unarguable, but he stubbornly persisted in that line of argument. In the end, he lost the appeal. But the court wrote to the law society seeking that he be penalized for pursuing an unarguable point. He came to me to ask for a character reference as he was, of course, on the verge of losing everything.  “That is the nature of the discipline of that profession, which insists that you cannot trivialize the legal process in any way, that you cannot hamper the legal process in any way, and that behaviour of a dilatory sort will not be tolerated.” [myad]