Shippers’ Council to train more judges on admiralty law

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mallam Hassan Bello yesterday said that the council would train more judges on admiralty laws to adjudicate correctly.

Bello disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Lagos.

He said that good knowledge of admiralty laws by judges of the Federal High Court would enable quick dispensation of maritime cases, adding that such cases usually lingered for too long in the court.

“Cases linger long in the court. Is just like cargo lingering for long time in the ports.

“So, we need to adjudicate correctly too. Shipping is an international thing.

“Admiralty is a branch of international commercial law but hitherto the judges were at loss and also the lawyers that practice before them as to what to do with admiralty cases which were vast, technical and transnational.

“However, with the introduction of the Nigerian Maritime Seminar for Judges whereby the focus is on the Federal High Court that has jurisdiction in these cases and the Appeal Court, now the situation has changed.

“Nigerian judgments are recognised; they are acknowledged all over the world; cases don’t linger or tied for long time in court because the judges have working knowledge.

“Most importantly, the seminar is not a talk shop. Discussions in the seminar have been translated into laws like the Carriage of Goods Act, which is a codification or domestication of Hamburg Rules,” he said.

He said that the seminar brought about important legislations like the Merchant Shipping Act, which had been domesticated, while sound policies had emanated from the Judges’ seminar.

Bello said that the seminar also focused on economic issues like the impact of the arrest of ships, adding that some judges from other parts of Africa usually attend the seminar.

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