Judicial Resilience in a Fast-Changing World by Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, OFR, SAN

It is a privilege to be invited by the Judicial Action Group, Africa, to speak at its sixth annual meeting holding in Lagos. I must start by thanking the leadership of the Judicial Action Group, Africa for the privilege to share with this distinguished audience, my thoughts on this subject, whose importance to the administration of justice, particularly at this point, has been brought to the front burner as it rightfully should. This paper evaluates the importance of strengthening the African system of justice administration in the face of challenges while bearing in mind that our actions and decisions will not just affect the present but will have an impact on

the future.

The concept of justice is based on moral rightness, equity, fairness, ethics, natural law, religion, and the administration of the law, considering the inalienable fundamental rights of all human beings, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law of their civil rights, without discrimination and is

further regarded as being inclusive of social justice. Broadly speaking, the administration of justice cuts deeper than the process by which the legal system of a government is executed; it concerns the preservation of humanity. This is not far-fetched, as justice for one is justice for all. The preservation of humanity is hinged on collective responsibility. We are all responsible for each and we are each responsible for all. This is the rationale behind the African word, Ubuntu, rooted in the African humanist philosophy meaning ‘I am because we are’. Derived from the Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” whose literal meaning is that a person is a person through other people.


My point of reflection and invitation to this distinguished audience is this: Justice done today will affect future generations. It is imperative that whilst we refresh our minds on the concept of justice, the challenges affecting the administration of justice, and how we can bolster resilience in the African judicial system, we consider the effect it will have on the future of humanity.

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