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Access to Justice, LACON Partner On Delivering Legal Aid

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Posted: Sep 8, 2016 at 11:58 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

With the Conclusion of the Access to Justice Project in Kaduna in December 2015, the World Bank Supervisors of the project, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) have prepared a report of the accomplishments of the project.

According to the statement, signed by the Director General of LACON, Mrs. Bob-Manuel and obtained by the Independent, "Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) and the World Bank are pleased to present this publication about the Access to Justice for the Poor Project implemented in Kaduna State, Nigeria, between 2012 and 2016.

“In that time, LACON made great strides in bringing legal aid services to the grassroots and increasing access to justice by the most poor and vulnerable in our society. I am extremely proud of our staff and partners for their commitment and dedication to serving the poor.

“The Access to Justice Project offered LACON the opportunity to partner with the World Bank and learn best practices in representing clients in civil matters and community legal education.

The Project helped to develop staff capacity through trainings in alternative dispute resolution and mediation, and by introducing paralegal training, all of which were novel in the Nigerian legal education.

“Through our partners and the use of media, we were also successful in raising awareness among the poor of their legal rights and entitlement to legal representation.

“I take away three lessons from the project to inform our future activities. First, the capacity of our staff must be built and refreshed to ensure good service delivery.

“Second, there must also be a well-developed mechanism to bring awareness to the poor people that need the service through electronic and print media and by networking with civil society groups who specialize in advocacy, sensitization and training. Third, data systems and using data to find gaps, fill them, and promote and improve on good activities are critical to success.

“This experience with the World Bank has strengthened my belief in the value of partnerships in bringing to fruition the vision and mission of LACON. We cannot work alone to achieve our mandate.

“When I was appointed Director General of LACON in late December 2010, I could not have imagined how far we would come.

“My motivation and zeal to take on the twin roles of chief administrative officer and the chief legal officer was fueled by years in legal practice helping the poor. I hope that the example we at LACON are setting will encourage current and future lawyers to dedicate themselves to serving the vulnerable in our society.