Most citizens do not have access to the formal justice system to resolve disputes due to the high cost of litigation (court fees, lawyers’ fees and transport costs).
There is low patronage at Citizens' Rights and Mediation Centres in Nigeria (CMRC) (e.g. Enugu CRMC had only 231 users in 2011). Reasons include distance of centres from users, lack of awareness that the centres exit and the quality of services provided.
This has contributed to large numbers of prisoners awaiting trial, with access to pro bono legal aid assistance at only 11.4% (UNODC survey 2007).
What people say about J4A's work
'The training highlighted a lot of gaps in our management skills and increased my capacity to perform in my position as manager.'
- Head of Citizens’ Mediation Centre, Agege
'As a result of the training, the Citizens’ Mediation Centre is the only unit in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice that has agreed and communicated its mission, vision and goal for 2012.'
- Head Citizens’ Mediation Centre, Lagos
'The paralegals are a welcome development. So many cases have been settled by these men and women. Their work has been a huge relief to us.'
- Chief of Onaenyi of Ihenyi Village