Faculty of Law Handbook 2019-2021
It gives me much pleasure to welcome both fresh and old students to the Faculty of Law, university of Benin as we officially commence a new academic session. As law student who need a roadmap for successful academic pursuit, this prospectus is designed to alert and assist you to settle down and prepare you for the necessary adjustments you will have to make to ensure a smooth academic session as well as acquaint you with the splendid possibilities that are yours in realization of your dream to study law. it also outlines some basic regulations and procedures you must obey or follow to make good success of your academic endeavour. It further contains certain general information that will not only be useful to you but also in some practical respect will show you the way, lighten your burden, point out the pitfalls along the way and make your academic journey stress and trouble free. It is worthwhile to note that the University of Benin where you have chosen to study law was established in 1970.
However, prompted by a desire to establish adequate facilities for the provision of legal education of the highest possible standard, that is adaptable to the contemporary needs of Nigeria Society, the Faculty of Law was established in 1981. Since more than three and a half decades of its existence, the faculty has consistently maintained its position as a quintessential citadel of legal education due to its unwavering commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and research across abroad spectrum of disciplines in law. Both the undergraduate and postgraduate legal education studies, are central part of this laudable plan. Gladly enough the Faculty of Law has established itself as one of the foremost faculties of law of the highest standard that is rated as the best in Nigeria and beyond. Its commitment to academic excellence is unassailable and without equivocation. Some of the clear proofs include the full accreditation status conferred on the Faculty by the National Universities Commission (NUC) as an emerging centre of excellence in the provision of legal education in Nigeria. Furthermore, commendation and accolades from reputable sources in Nigeria and overseas of its endowment and rich ancestry in many significant dimensions particularly for the quality of its teaching, learning and research have been received. These include the core leadership demonstrated yearly by a progressively and numerically high proportion of the Faculty’s alumni. They constitute the finest of legal minds in the legal profession due to the strong but unique academic background, excellent personality and integrity of character received from the Faculty. The glowing news received from employers of labour, indicates that these crop of men and women in their chosen career paths are not only visible assets but they also exert strong scholarly and professional influence in every sphere of human organizations where they are gainfully employed. In May 2012 for instance, a Senior Lecturer (now a Professor of Law) of the Faculty was adjudged winner of the Nigerian Universities Doctoral Theses Award Scheme (NUDTAS) by the National Universities Commission (NUC) Abuja. Her Ph.D thesis won the best Doctoral Thesis Award in law in Nigerian University System. The awardee’s dissertation was described as “appreciable mastery of the study of international law and human rights in Nigeria” by the school of postgraduate studies, University of Lagos. Her thesis has since been published as a book and publicly presented at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) University of Lagos.
Despite the daunting challenges confronting the university and legal education in Nigeria, the faculty of law, University of Benin has risen above these challenges and continue to remain a reference point in legal education in Nigeria. Two phenomenal achievements out of the numerous landmarks recorded are worth mentioning to reaffirm the above evidence. In 2016, the United Nations University Institute of National Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Accra Ghana appointed one of our senior lecturers as a research fellow to join other one hundred and thirty five research fellows engaged in diverse fields to fashion out frameworks for particular needs in the various countries of the United Nations. Again, in 2016, the officially published Nigerian Law School Bar Examination Results confirmed that one Atatigho Jessica Ejaita an alumnus of this Faculty excelled with a first class honours. In recognition of this extraordinary scholarship feat, the administration of the Nigerian Law School Abuja sent a letter of commendation to the Vice-Chancellor University of Benin to congratulate the entire University and particularly, the Faculty of Law for this excellent performance of its product.*The basic lessons to learn from the above snippet of information is that as a law faculty, we are committed to excellence and innovation in teaching and research. We provide our students with an environment in which they can flourish and acquire basic legal education as well as training that can enhance their ability not only to conduct research and scholarship but also to solve the challenges which contemporary dynamic society daily unfolds in the legal profession.
As the Faculty continues to maintain its pride of place in the legal education sector, the lecturers are here to help you excel. Please, feel free to approach them with your academic and social problems. Even where they are unable to help you solve them, they will be willing to ensure the problems do not overwhelm you. They will assist you to cope ably. Since no faculty of law anywhere in the world can teach all the legal knowledge required in the classroom, you are advised to thoroughly use the law library. This is because, the law is only partially in your lecturers brain; the bulk of the legal knowledge you are required to know during your tenure can also be sourced from law reports, journals and texts which are inexhaustive in the law library. Our goal in the faculty is to ensure that you acquire not only legal knowledge for practical value, but much more to acquire training in legal thinking and this you can only achieve if you apply yourself diligently to the use of the library.
The Faculty has a dress code, which you must compulsorily obey. This is imperative since legal training (as a would-be lawyer) is a professional activity and the Faculty does not want your prescribed dressing and grooming to derogate from your anticipated dress code. Note that lecturers, non-academic staff and members of the Law Students Association (LAWSA) Executives have been given the authority to help ensure compliance with the dress code and penalize you if you are inappropriately attired as prescribed by the faculty. It is important to stress that compliance with the dress code is part of your legal education. The University affords you the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds. Consequently, I encourage you to associate with noble persons on campus. Register and participate in LAWSA extra-curricula activities as well as moot competitions. Please avoid all manner of ignoble associates and secret societies. Please eschew every form of examination malpractice. No student found guilty of examination malpractice (and other miscellany of misconducts) gets admitted into the Nigerian Law School. Do not be misled! Credible empirical evidence indicates most candidates who are involved in examination malpractice suffer from low self-esteem. So have confidence in your ability; believe in yourself, remain focused and determined. It is imperative on all law students to pay all the approved charges and register their courses online timeously. The evidence of such registration must be submitted to the appropriate/designated Faculty of Law Departments for proper documentation. This process of registration must be accomplished within the time-frame stipulated by University authorities.
It is my pleasure once more to welcome you to this Faculty as you join us for your legal education.