The traditional or informal justice system plays a significant role in the provision of justice services to many Nigerians, especially the poor. It is usually physically closer to the poor and proceedings tend to be fast and not overly technical; instead they are guided by the customs and traditions which users understand and accept.
The traditional justice system is often criticised for lacking respect for human rights, especially those of women and children and that the proceedings are arbitrary. Strengthening the capacity and competence of relevant oversight bodies will reduce arbitrary decisions, abuse of power and increase patronage.
What people say about J4A's work
'Every dispute we settle is now recorded… Women are beginning to use traditional justice more… it gives them confidence that decisions reached will not be breached in the future.'
- District Head, Sakwaya
'The record system will go a long way to boosting the esteem of the traditional justice system. The masses will appreciate the impact of traditional leadership through the administration of justice.'
- Jigawa State Justice and Law Reform Commission Chairman