The DFID-funded Nigeria Justice for All Programme (J4A), in partnership with PRAWA, is working with the Government of Enugu State to “Speed up Criminal Justice in Enugu State”.
The aim of the intervention is to identify root causes of delays in the criminal justice system, support the development and implementation of cross-sector solutions, involving state actors (police, ministry of justice, prisons, judiciary, legislature, etc.) and non-state actors (civil society organisations; traditional rulers, etc.)
The first phase of the project (completed in March 2012) involved a series of consultations with justice sector stakeholders to identify the ‘root causes’ of delays in the criminal justice process and develop a range of potential solutions.
Stakeholders consulted included criminal justice organisations, civil society organisations, defendants/prisoners and victims. Based on these consultations, six priority ‘project’ areas were identified to be implemented by the respective agencies with the support of J4A.
These projects are designed to be implemented as pilots to test the viability of the approach and to enable them to be fine-tuned where necessary. The programme will then support the Enugu State justice sector to replicate the projects more broadly to extend the impact across the state.
The six projects may be complemented by other activities initiated and driven by the Enugu justice sector or individual organisations.
J4A Project Components
Speeding Up Police Criminal Investigations Project
This project is the first component of “Speeding-Up Criminal Justice Project in Enugu State”. It is a pilot scheme and focuses on the time it takes for a criminal investigation to be completed by the police. The time it takes for the police to complete their investigation and allow the case to move to the next step in the criminal justice process has been identified as one of the significant causes of delay […]
Speeding Up the Prosecution Process
“Speeding up the Prosecution Process” is being piloted in the Enugu State Ministry of Justice. The duration of the various procedures once the police have completed their investigation has been identified as one of the significant causes of delay in the criminal justice process and a number of root causes of delays in this area were identified to include […]
Speeding Up the Court Trial Process
Speeding Up Court (Criminal) Trial Process’’ is being piloted in the Enugu State High Court in Enugu as the third component of “Speeding-Up Criminal Justice System in Enugu State Project”. The lengthy duration of criminal trials was identified as one of the major causes of delays in the criminal justice process. A number of ‘root causes’ were identified to include […]
Enhancing Legal Representation for Remand Prisoners
Currently there is no system in operation to ensure that awaiting trial prisoners (ATPs) have access to legal representation from the time of arrest and throughout their time on remand until their case has been finalized. The result is that many accused persons, particularly those from poor and vulnerable groups, spend extended periods awaiting resolution of their cases because of inadequate legal representation[…]
A significant cause of delays in the criminal justice process is non-attendance of witnesses at court. Witnesses include ordinary citizens and ‘specialist’ witnesses such as Investigating Police Officers (IPOs) and expert witnesses e.g. medical doctors, coroners, etc). The consultation process and analysis of delays occurring during the trial stage of the criminal justice process identified a number of root causes including[…]
Transportation of Remand Prisoners to Court
A significant cause of delay in many criminal cases is the non-appearance of accused persons in court at the scheduled hearing date and time, often leading to the adjournment of the case to another day. The ‘root causes’ of the inability to transport remand prisoners to court were identified and analysed to include[…]