FUNCTIONS OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR

        See Section 1(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act. 
The General Council of Bar, referred t as “Bar Council” is established by Section 1(2) of the LPA.

FUNCTIONS
         By Section 1(1) of the LPA, the Bar Council was originally charged with the general management of the affairs of NBA subject to any limitations provided by the NBA Constitution.

WHAT ARE THESE LIMITATIONS?

1ST LIMITATION
1.   Article 8(a) of the NBA Constitution provides that the powers of the General Council of the Bar shall not include:

                                              i.     Any control over the budget or finances of the NBA;
                                             ii.     Power to appoint representatives of the NBA to any statutory, executive/judicial or other bodies;
                                           iii.     Power to issue any statement purporting to express the views of NBA on matters of public interest or matters affecting the legal provision generally;
                                           iv.     Power to make any arrangement including an agenda of venue for the annual general conference or any other general meeting of NBA.

2ND LIMITATION
Article 8(b) of the NBA provides that any decision of the Bar Council may be reviewed or modified by the Annual General Conference or at any other general meeting of the Association. 
However, by virtue of Articles 8(c) and (d), if the Bar Council exercises its power to constitute a Committee of NBA Members to run NBA affairs in an emergency or unavoidable circumstances, the limitations provided in Articles 8(a) and (b) will not apply.

         Most importantly, however, over and above all the limitations imposed by the NBA Constitution, the entire power of general management of NBA affairs by the Bar Council has, in fact, been totally removed and transferred to the Body of Benchers by virtue of Section 2 of Decree 21 of 1994.  The General Council of Bar, therefore, appears emasculated.




2.      SECOND FUNCTION
The power of the Bar Council to fix practising fees has also been transferred to the Body of Benchers in consultation with the NBA. 
See Section 8(e) of Decree 21 of 1994.

3.      THE THIRD FUNCTION
The power of the Bar Council to make rules of account to be kept by legal practitioners is still intact.
Section 20(1)(a) to (d) of the LPA provides as follows:

“(1)   Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Bar Council may, from time to time, as the Council considers expedient, make rules –

(a)         As to the opening and keeping by legal practitioners of accounts at banks for clients’ moneys; and

(b)         As to the keeping by legal practitioners of records containing particulars and information as to moneys received, held or paid by them for or on account of their clients; and

(c)          As to the opening and keeping by a legal practitioner who is the sole trustee or who is a co-trustee only with one or more of his partners, clerks or servants of an account at a bank for moneys of any trust of which he is the sole trustee or such a co-trustee as aforesaid; and

(d)         As to the keeping by such a legal practitioner as is mentioned in paragraph (e) of this subsection of records containing particulars and information as to moneys received, held or paid by him for or on account of any such trust as is so mentioned; and empowering the Bar Council to take such action as it thinks necessary to enable it to ascertain whether the rules are being complied with.

4.      THE FOURTH FUNCTION
Its power to make and revise rules of professional conduct is still intact.  See Section 12(4) of the LPA as amended by Decree 21 of 1994.  The current Rules of Professional Conduct were made by the Council under these provisions.


COMPOSITION
1.   The Attorney General of the Federation (President).
2.   The States Attorney General and
3.   20 Members of the NBA and not less than 7 of them shall be legal practitioners of not less than 10 years post call.

In Section 318(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the FRN, “judicial office” means:

1.            Office of CJN or Justices of the Supreme Court.
2.            President or Justices of the Court of Appeal.
3.            Chief Judge or Judges of Federal High Court.
4.            Chief Judge or Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja.
5.            Chief Judge of a State and Judges of State High Courts.
6.            Grand Kadi or Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the FCT, Abuja.
7.            President or Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of the FCT Abuja.
8.            Grand Kadi or Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State.
9.            President or Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of a State and


a reference to a “judicial officer” is a reference to the holder of any such office.


1 comment:

  1. Cross River State judiciary is one of the most corrupt state when it comes to law, some judges judge cases with a bad mind just to favor the complainant and there will jail the innocent ones for just no reason because the complainant is their member of their cult group, please am appealing to this committee to come or be effective in cross river state in particular and calabar in general. people are dieying in calabar prison and innocent once are been jailed for no just reason.. am appealing to the committee to review people cases and judgment or ruling of the judges cos you will find so many errors and am appealing to the appeal court to review judgment of some judges in calabar and summon any judge find wanting. i believe if the committee comes up with some laws, the judges will sit up and if any case lack merit or jurisdiction should be discharged and any state counsel that is taking any case personal should me call to order. please help us in cross river state and those in prison custody..

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