Juritrust Centre Convenes Maiden Experience Sharing Workshop on Behavioural Insights and Ethical Norms in Justice Administration

25 – 26 NOVEMBER 2021

The Edo State judiciary recently collaborated with the Centre in a research which investigated socio-cultural, economic and traditional factors that influence or discourage unethical conduct. The research targeted 38 participants comprising three categories of respondents namely :

  • Category 1: Members of the Edo State Judiciary (7 judges and 5 magistrates).
  • Category 2: Lawyers( 13 academics/law teachers and 9 lawyers in practice).
  • Court users : 4- litigants and anyone who has any business with the court other than the judges/magistrates, staff of the court and lawyers representing a litigant in court.

The results of the research and draft report were validated at an interactive meeting for judicial officers in Edo state which was convened at the Randekhi Hotel, Benin on 25 and 26 December under the chairmanship of the Edo State Chief Judge, Hon Justice Joseph Acha. The immediate past Chief Judge of Edo State Hon. Justice Esther Edigin (rtd) gave a keynote address at the Pre-workshop Dinner that set the tone of the workshop. In her speech Justice Edigin reiterated that a judicial officer must abide by the Code of Conduct for Judicial officers noting that although the life of a judicial officer is a quiet and to some extent socially restricted to his immediate family and a few dear friends who understand the nature of his job, a judicial officer should not mind any social consequences of failing to abide by community expectations. Waxing spiritual the keynote speaker counselled the audience of serving judicial officers that –

Judicial courage or fearlessness and integrity have been said to be the two very important attributes of a judge. They are enveloped in good conscience and the fear of God. A person lacking in courage and integrity should never aspire to be a judge.

“Do not scheme to be appointed Judge in case you are not strong enough to stamp out injustice, in case you let yourself be swayed by an influential man and so risk the loss of your integrity” Ecclesiastes 7: 6


A Judge at all times must know that his integrity and impartiality transcends the interests of his family members and friends since the justice he administers is held in trust from God. He must live above board and always uphold the tenets of equality before the law and in the words of Thomas Fuller referred by Lord Denning in his book The Discipline of Law at page 140 “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”.

My brother judges, be you a Christian or Muslim judge, know that when we die, we shall face two charges before God Almighty one shall relate to our conduct as a human being and the other to our conduct as a judge.


The workshop session was facilitated by the Juritrust Centre Faculty which was led by Prof Adedeji Adekunle SAN. The Faculty comprised Dr Suzzie Onyeka Oyakhire who gave an overview of the research outcome, Professor Victor Adetula who gave a projection on future work and this was followed by an experience sharing session moderated by the Professor Adekunle and Gbemi Jaiyebo. The meeting closed with a re-affirmation of the motivating factors and influencers of corruption and strategies to counter them. The meeting agreed that while individual strength of character mattered, it was also important to identify institutional and socio-economic circumstances that impact behaviour.