Informal Justice Court 2.0: From Experiment to Model by rebalancing power asymmetries
This is a report on the working and sustainability of the Informal Justice Court (IJC) project in Nigeria. The Public Interest Law Partnership (PILP) and Stichting Aardschap, applied and received funding for the project from KMF of Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law in 2022.
The project is a continuation of the pilot IJC project which KMF supported in 2021. Through the IJC, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach by fusing the law and art to innovatively tackle the problem of prolonged and unnecessary pre-trial detention, one of the major justice problems around the world. The aim of the project is highlighted as follows:
- To engage and train pre-trial detention inmates in the correctional center, by improving and accelerating inmates’ judiciary process through mock trials;
- To decongest the overpopulated correctional centers by assisting awaiting trial inmates with free legal representation, thereby securing their release in the long run;
- To simplify the court process and train inmates on the intricacies of the justice system prior to their trial dates in court
- To ensure that the Nigerian justice stakeholders and policy makers are engaged in order to create lasting solutions to the justice problems.
This report supports our initial assessment for the scalability of the IJC and provides the steps that may be taken towards ensuring the sustainability of the project within the Nigerian Criminal Justice System. We have undertaken various activities and done sufficient research to make an informed assessment of the potential and strategy for adopting the IJC and sustaining it within the local context.