Oral Advocacy and Frontloading Imbroglio: Where do Advocates Stand

Publication Information

Journal Title: Commonwealth Law Review Journal
Author(s): Roland Ufuoma Oyibo & Peter Ikechukwu Gasiokwu
Published On: 18/08/2023
Volume: 9
First Page: 357
Last Page: 381
ISSN: 2581-3382
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Roland Ufuoma Oyibo & Peter Ikechukwu Gasiokwu, Oral Advocacy and Frontloading Imbroglio: Where do Advocates Stand, Volume 9, Commonwealth Law Review Journal, 357-381, Published on 18/08/2023, Available at https://clrj.thelawbrigade.com/article/oral-advocacy-and-frontloading-imbroglio-where-do-advocates-stand/


A lawyer employs oral advocacy, which improves their fluency and confidence, to present their argument in court. A rule known as the frontloading concept, which requires litigants through their counsel to file all documents and supporting evidence along with the originating processes, has recently been developed by the High Courts in several states, starting with Lagos and followed by Anambra, in response to the need to adopt and reform the procedure of the High Courts in civil matters to suit the changing needs of the society.  Oral advocacy in civil cases has fallen out of favor since the frontloading rule was implemented. Therefore, the work’s objective is to investigate the Court’s frontloading rule and the rationale for oral advocacy’s demotion. The study’s goal has been accomplished by adopting a doctrinal research methodology and using primary and secondary source materials that relate to the topic under consideration. The study discovered that frontloading has been replaced by oral advocacy in civil matters/litigations because it had failed to accomplish the goals for which it had been introduced.  The study also discovered that because frontloading restrictions have reduced oral advocacy, law school students who are on court attachments find it difficult to learn from the attorneys who should be arguing their clients’ claims because they are now restricted to filing and adopting procedures. The frontloading rule has an equal impact on the Bench, Bar, Litigants, and Members of the Gallery since it makes it more difficult for the Bench to learn from the Bar, for attorneys to share knowledge with one another, and for clients to keep up with the Court’s activities. The study suggested that oral argument in civil lawsuits be given more weight.

Keywords: Oral advocacy, frontloading, Advocates, Civil matters, Courts.

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