Special Report By Sydney Obiukwu & Funmi Oguns
In recent times there has been widespread calls from progressive lawyers for the repeal of the the controversial Leave of Court rule.
The leave of court rule requires lawyers to seek the consent of a lower court to file an appeal against a decided case.
According to a senior solicitor and the Principal Partner of City Solicitors Chambers, based in Lagos, there are three basic requirements for filing leave of court, and these are:
First, if you are appealing as of right and within the time provided by the constitution in section 214, sub section 1, where you do not require leave of court. Here Barrister Ballanytne explains that the appeal is being made as of right.
Secondly, he continued, under section 242, sub section 1, you require leave of court for you to make an appeal.
Thirdly, under section 234, sub section 1, under certain circumstances you require leave of court to appeal a decided matter, the lawyer further explained.
Ballantyne went on to argue that since the leave of court was merely a court rule that is not expressly provided for in the constitution, it should be discarded for its clumsiness.
He described the court rule as *a colonial practice that should have been long discarded., because it is cumbersome, since the time of appeal may elapse in the process of seeking leave of court”
Ballantyne wondered why appellants have to be coerced to pay penalty for not compiling the records for appeal on time before you can file the motion of appeal, especially, as he reasoned, when there is no guarantee that the leave being sought will be eventually granted the appellant.
He says the court rule as it stands is “both exploitative and punitive” and should be jettisoned.