Institute seeks partnership to make justice affordable, accessible

Institute seeks partnership to make justice affordable, accessible

By Ebere Agozie
Mr Sam Muller, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law, has called for partnerships to ensure affordable and accessible justice systems for everyone.

Muller made the on Thursday during the presentation of the 2023 report of the justice needs and satisfaction in Nigeria.

He said that about one billion people globally have a new justice problem, but shockingly, over 70 per cent of those people do not find satisfactory resolution.

“30 per cent of them don’t even feel sufficiently, empowered to take action.

“This has a significant impact on their lives and on the society: from violence to seriously damaged relationships and business conflicts”.

He said the problems persist because the same models used to deliver justice in the past centuries are still being used today.

“This makes the process of getting justice often slow, difficult and costly.

“With accurate data and technology, we can co-create high quality justice based on what we need now.

“We should all work towards user-friendly justice.

Justice that is affordable, accessible, easy to understand, justice that is people centred, that is justice that works”, he added.

He, however, observed that change has started in the last five years with a movement towards people-centred justice.

He said a tasksforce consisting of leaders from different regions of the world made a thorough analysis of the situation and found that the cost justice on the economy and development can be measured.

“Two-third of people on planet earth do not have adequate access to justice, and somehow it is not getting better and we keep doing the same thing to improve,” he said.

Ijeoma Nwafor, the Country Representative (Nigeria) of HiiL, in her presentation added the organisation has justice acceleration programme, scaling programme and innovation labs in Imo, Kaduna and Ogun states.

She said that findings from the research done in the labs in Imo, Kaduna and Ogun indicated that Nigeria has attained the level of outcomes, solutions and impact in achieving the aim of using innovations to close the justice gap.

She said Nigeria is followed by Ethiopia as the countries in this level in Africa.

Mr Felix Okojie, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Lateef Fagbemi,
expressed satisfaction with the result of the research from the three states and reiterated the ministry’s commitment to partnering with HiiL to replicate the findings of the research nationwide.

The data showed that 81 per cent of Nigerians encountered a legal problem in 2023, one-third said the cases are still ongoing, while 82 per cent of them considered the resolution fair or very fair.

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