UNILAG law faculty gets Business Law Club, courtesy NBASBL
The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) on Wednesday March 7, 2018 inaugurated the first ever ‘SBL CLUB’ at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.
The initiative is part of the objectives of the Section to build capacity and to promote the development of commercial law practice in Nigeria.
The event, which was attended by the Dean of Law, University of Lagos, (Unilag) law professors, members of the NBA-SBL Council, Committee Chairpersons, members of the ADR Committee of the NBA-SBL, executives of the Unilag Law Students Society (LSS), amongst others, is the first in a series of clubs being set up in selected universities across the country in the coming months.
Speaking about this development, Olumide Akpata, Chairman, of the NBA Section on Business Law stated that the Club is primarily aimed at introducing Law Undergraduates to contemporary issues in Commercial Law and Practice that may not yet form part of their curricula but are a ‘must have’ if they are to effectively compete on the global stage as Law Students and ultimately, in the future, as Commercial Law Practitioners.
“Although the NBA-SBL has been widely acknowledged and applauded for the very many innovative and qualitative programs it has introduced in the course of prosecuting its core mandate, which is to raise the standard of commercial law practice in Nigeria, I truly believe that this is one initiative that will turn the tide and guarantee a great future for the NBA and indeed the Legal Profession in Nigeria,” he said
Olubukola Olabiyi, Chairperson of the NBA-SBL Young Lawyers Committee (the committee driving the initiative), disclosed that the Section on Business on Law had keen interest in the development of the legal capacity of law students.
She said, “It is hoped that through the Young Lawyers Committee of the NBA-SBL, we would facilitate this development by way of mentorship and internship initiatives as well as invitations to SBL committee programs focused on various areas of specialization.
“We appreciate the interest and assistance of the UNILAG Faculty of Law and Law Students’ Society in establishing this Club in their Institution and look forward to achieving note worthy progress at the UNILAG and other tertiary institutions,” Ms Olabiyi stated.
In her welcome remarks, the Dean of Law, University of Lagos, Professor Ayo V. Atsenuwa, who received the NBA-SBL council to the faculty, welcomed the initiative; expressing faith in the ability of the students to utilize this rare opportunity.
“We are happy that you have considered our faculty for the very first of this capacity building project and we pledge the support of the management to ensure the success of this laudable initiative.”
Reiterating this position, the Vice President of the Law Students Society, Oluwatamilore Sowunmi thanked the Council of the NBA-SBL for the initiative and pledged the commitment of not just the LSS but that of all students the law faculty to leverage on the opportunity provided for them by the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) through the ‘SBL CLUB’.
“We promise not to let you down and to avail ourselves of this opportunity in the best ways possible. We are truly grateful,” the LSS Vice President declared.
Speaking after the inauguration, at a special ADR session organised by the NBA-SBL committee on Arbitration & ADR, for the benefit of the students, Mr Isaiah Bozimo, Chair, Advisory Board of the Lagos Court of Arbitration – Young Arbitrators Network (LCA-YAN) introduced the students to the practice of ADR…highlighting issues such as the nature of arbitrable disputes; arbitration as a mechanism for dispute settlement; the consensual nature of arbitration; arbitration as a private procedure; the legal framework governing international commercial arbitration; and the fact that arbitration leads to a final and binding determination of the rights and obligations of the parties involved.
“A procedure that does not lead to a final and binding determination of the parties’ rights and obligations is not arbitration. Arbitration rules specifically provide for the finality and binding nature of an arbitral award,” Bozimo said.
On the issue of enforceability of Arbitral awards, the CIArb Fellow also spoke to the students about the importance of commercial arbitration reason for the popularity of commercial arbitration is the comparative ease of enforcement of an award as compared to the enforcement of a judgment of a foreign court.
Another member of the ADR Committee, Mrs Josephine Akinwunmi, spoke to the LSS audience about the benefits of ADR; the core principles of Mediation; the role of a Mediator; key attributes of an Effective Mediator; benefits of Mediation; obstacles to a successful Mediation; the goals of Mediation; ethical guidelines for Mediators and mediation Institutions.
According to her, disputes are generally an inevitable part of human interactions arising from different human transactions including economic activities, family relationships, community, neighbourhood and other civil activities.
“When these disputes arise, it is only natural that the parties will want to resolve them peacefully and the common method of doing so without going to court is to go through the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. The one thing all disputes share is that ultimately they involve people and people involve relationships,” Akinwunmi said, while harping on the importance of maintaining good relations in the resolution of disputes and the need to achieve this through mediation.
The CEDR (UK) Accredited Mediator and SCMA Accredited, Mediation Advocacy Trainer, went on to school them about the attributes of a good mediator; listing those to include, credibility, patience and tact, objectivity alertness, adaptability, perseverance, appearance, demeanor, amongst other things.
The SBL CLUB, UNILAG was formally inaugurated by the Council of the NBA-SBL; with the Vice Chair of the Section, Seni Adio, SAN making the official pronouncements declaring it open.
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