Administration of Criminal Justice Act of Nigeria 2015

A Critique of Selected Legislative Expressions

  • Ngozi J. Udombana


The quality of any legislation is determined chiefly by its ability to accurately communicate its intention as well as its capacity to meet the society’s expectations and needs at every point in time. Language is the tool of communication. Legislative competence requires a good mastery of the use of written language and the relevant techniques for translating legislative intent into properly structured sentences that serve the goal of the legislation. Nigeria’s Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 was long overdue and well received. It aimed at tackling the multi dimensioned problems that plagued the criminal justice system for decades. Through a desk review, this article examines certain legislative expressions in the Act. It finds that the Act is plagued by a significant measure of substantive and legislative expression gaps, which diminish its quality and negatively impact its implementation. The article proffers relevant alternative redrafts and suggestions. Its position is that if these gaps are not timely addressed, they may further affect the effective implementation of the Act. It, therefore, recommends the amendment of the Act along the line of the issues identified in the article, in addition to all other related issues in the Act.


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