Commissioning of the Judicial Research Centre of Benue State Judiciary (Benue/Nigeria): 25 September, 2009
Excerpts of Speeches
Hon. Justice I. Hwunde, Chief Judge of Benue State
"A Judicial Research Centre, put in place by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the State Judiciary, and well equipped with the latest information technology gadget, is ready for commissioning this morning. Thanks to the UNODC for its tremendous support in actualising this dream. It was the officials of UNODC that sold this idea to the State Judiciary and we quickly embraced the idea and commenced work on the project.
Your Excellency, the centre you are about to commission is the first of its kind in the North Central Zone and is well equipped to meet the research needs of our staff, and can compete with any research centre elsewhere. As John Donne once said: 'No man is an island entirely unto himself'.
The advancement of this legal and judicial knowledge is what is packaged today as a Research Centre, a well programmed system of continuing legal and judicial education through what we are witnessing today."
Chief Steven Lawani (OFR), Acting Governor of Benue State
"I am glad to be here and to address you on this occasion of the commissioning of the Judicial Research Centre (JRC) which has been provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in conjunction with the Benue State Judiciary. Let me very specially welcome the delegation of the UNODC to Makurdi, the Benue State Capital, and to commend them for making this occasion possible.
Justice delayed is not only justice denied, but the transparency of verdicts too sometimes called to question when these delays occur. Quite often, apart from technical delay, the materials and facilities at the disposal of our Judicial officers also play a part. The envisaged practical usefulness of the Research Centre to the High Court, Magistrate and Area Court Judges as well as other Judicial Officers underscores the importance of this Centre to the entire Justice system in the state.
It is in the light of the foregoing, once again, that I commend the UNODC for equipping this Centre and its untiring efforts in the capacity building of staff in the State Judiciary. I understand that the Centre is the best in the North Central Zone and can match any Research Centre elsewhere. We commend, also, the Honourable Chief Judge for the initiative to partner with the UNODC in the provision of the Centre even with the lean resources at his disposal."
Ms. Dagmar Thomas, UNODC Country Representative
"But what is a Judicial Research Centre (JRC)?
A Judicial Research Centre is an IT facility which provides access to legal research tools, the Internet, and some specialized IT applications such as the Complaints Management System that helps to collect, analyze, and trace complaints. A Judicial Research Centre has three main components: a satellite dish, a Server Room of equipment, and a pool of computers, printers, and a scanner. By deploying the Judicial Research Centre here at the Benue State Judiciary, we do hope that it will help to improve the performance and efficiency of Judicial Officers and Court Officials."
Pictures of the Ceremony