The Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA) has constituted a 16-member committee to review for necessary reform the laws governing admiralty practice in Nigeria. The reform is a necessary step towards ensuring effective resolution of disputes in accordance with current global standards and expectations in the Maritime Industry.
The committee will focus on the reform of substantive and procedural law. The Committee is expected to review the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, Federal High Court Act 1973, Admiralty Jurisdiction Act 1993, Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules 2011 and Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019.
Admiralty practice in Nigeria has been on a steady decline due to lack of effective and timely settlement of matters, which situation has resulted in maritime interests being reluctant to have Nigeria as a jurisdiction for dispute resolution. The committee is expected to propose strategies and initiatives to reform Admiralty law practice, with particular focus on speed in filing, assignment, hearing and determination of admiralty matters. The importance of a legal reform cannot be over emphasised as the law must reflect political, economic, and social development.
It is hoped that the reform will revive confidence in the Nigeria maritime industry.
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