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‘Strong institutions provide enabling environment for rule of law to flourish’



In recent times, several agencies and individuals have accused Nigerian government of not promoting rule of law. In this interview with JOSEPH ONYEKWERE, Lagos lawyer and arbitrator, Bamidele Adeleye says the country lacks strong institutions that provide the enabling environment for rule of law to flourish. He also spoke extensively on the publication of law reports by Alexander Payne and Co.

Expressing views on the rule of law in Nigeria, the lawyer, who is a member of the Chartered Institute of Trade Marks Agents in UK, the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and American Bar Association said: “We are not there yet but we will be there some day. We lack strong institutions.

It is strong institutions that provide enabling environment for the rule of Law to flourish.


Where governments at various levels cherry-pick the judgments to obey and the ones to disobey, rule of law cannot flourish in such societies. Our governments must obey judgments of courts regardless of whose ox is gored.”

Introducing the publishing outfit that is responsible for different law reports in the country, he said: “Alexander Payne & Co. are publishers of specialized law reports including Supreme Court Judgments on Lands (SCJL), Supreme Courts Judgments on Evidence (SCJE), Intellectual Property Law Reports (IPLR) and Nigerian Company Law Cases (NCLC).”

What is so unique about Alexander Payne’s Publications? Adeleye responds: “Alexander Payne’s law reports are unique and contains uncommon legal judgments of Superior Courts of Records. They are specific and narrows down the researcher’s area of interest.

The SCJL and SCJE are exclusively on uncommon legal authorities of the Supreme Court judgments, while the NCLC and the IPLR are the first and only Nigerian law reports exclusively on Company Law and Intellectual Property.

The law reports also comes with an audio format of about 56 hours recording affording lawyers the luxury of playing the CD either on their way to court, in the comfort of their homes or offices.”

According to him, the materials for the publications are obtained exclusively from erudite judgments of the Superior Courts of record in Nigeria, including the archives and recently delivered judgments.


On the usefulness of the publications for Research, he said: “The Law Reports are useful to legal scholars and researches willing to expound and develop their understanding and knowledge of the law. They are an easy reference and on-the-go law reports. The publications are simple, detailed and easy to understand.

“The law reports have also been referred to in most judgments of the Courts, most especially at the Supreme Court level. Legal luminaries have also referenced Alexander Payne & Co’s Law Report in their articles, researches and publications.

“The publications cover a period of the following durations. The SCJE comprises seven volumes, from 1951 to 2011. The IPLR comprises six volumes, from 1917 to 2011. The SCJL comprises six volumes, from 1907 to 2013, while the NCLC comprises six volumes, from 1957 to 2016.”

He said the intended audience of the law reports includes law scholars, law students, members of both the Bench and Bar, law institutions as well as researches willing to expound their knowledge and understanding of the law.

On whether there is an updated edition, Adeleye said: “We are currently working on a review and updated edition of the law reports, which will be made available to the public as soon as practicable. The law reports are available offline, although we are currently working on making them available online for a token.

“So far, we have not recorded any complaint on the quality of the law reports, attesting to the pedigree of care and skill embodied in editing and publishing the reports.”

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