The Director, Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates, Valentino Buoro, on Tuesday suggested that pending cases whose records could not be retrieved due to the recent burning of courts, be referred to mediation.
Buoro, a lawyer and mediation expert, made the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
NAN reports that some courts were burnt in Lagos during the #ENDSARS protests and this affected courts’ records and proceedings.
The SCMA director said that a lot of courts’ records were stored manually, especially judges’ notes, making it difficult to retrieve such documents after the inferno.
“It is agonizing that documents stored over the years went up in flames and judges cannot remember everything in their notes.
“Though the approach will be for some cases to start afresh, such approach may cause some miscarriage of justice because some witnesses may not be available. Some may have forgotten exactly how the incident occurred and perspectives may have changed.
“Therefore, my opinion is that such matters be referred to mediation for peaceful and amicable resolutions through the multi-door courthouses,” he said.
Buoro however, advised that judicial documents should henceforth be stored in internet clouds for safe keeping.
He said no matter the physical hazards the court rooms might suffer, it would not affect documents stored in the clouds.
The lawyer also advised parties to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution and resolve most of their cases through mediation or any other ADR process.
He said that ADR did not require bulk documentation like litigation, adding that “it is faster and consensual”.
According to Buoro, administration of justice in Nigeria required more intervention, and more infrastructure in line with current global trends.