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Justice in Niger

The data on this page comes from a Justice Needs and Satisfaction survey conducted by HiiL in Niger. We interviewed over 6 000 randomly selected adults across the country in 2021. In 2022, we launched a report that gives a voice to the justice needs and experiences of millions of Nigeriens.


legal problems
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Took action to resolve their problem
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Completely or partially resolved their problem
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Number of people interviewed in Niger

Photo by BOULENGER Xavier

Below you will find the story of justice problems in everyday life of the citizens of Niger. People told us how the problems affect them, what they do to resolve them and how they experienced the formal and informal justice system.

This is the justice story as the people in Niger encounter and feels it.

Read more about the justice needs of people in Niger, here

How people experience justice in Niger

Have you encountered one or more legal problems?

A legal problem is a problem that takes place in daily life – a dispute, disagreement or grievance for which there is a resolution in the (formal or informal) law. It does not matter if the individual sees it as legal or whether she took action to resolve it.

The chart shows how many adults in Niger encountered one or more legal problems in the last 4 years.

What is the demand for justice in Niger?

Every 4 years, 3.78 million people deal with legal problems. Some of them encounter multiple problems. On an annual basis, this amounts to 1.26 million people who need protection from the law to resolve a legal problem. 

A gap this big means that for every 100,000 people there are 11,441 individuals who must cope with one or more legal problems.

Which are the most frequent legal problems of people?

Crime is the biggest justice problem in Niger. Of all people who had to deal with a legal problem, 35% have encountered a crime-related problem. 27% experienced a land dispute and 14% experienced a  neighbour dispute. 

Which are the six most frequent legal problems experienced by people in a year (in numbers)?

Crime, land problems, disputes between neighbours, disputes among families, debt problems and domestic violence are justice problems that people are most likely to encounter in a year.

We derived the total number of problems people that are likely to experience in a given year for each justice problem by taking findings from the randomly selected sample and projecting them to the general population. In other words, we extrapolate the proportion of people who experienced a justice problem to the general population. So this graph reflects the prevalence of justice problems among the general population of Niger.  

Which are the most serious justice problems?

We asked people to tell us about the legal problem which they assess as most serious.

The problems are grouped into categories. For instance, crime aggregates experiences with property and violent crime, fraud and so on. 

Which are the most burdensome legal problems?

Which problems should be addressed first? The justice gap is enormous and policy-makers and service providers must focus resources on the most burdensome legal problems. 

To calculate the burden of a legal problem, we combined the impact and prevalence (frequency) of the problem. Legal problems that are both frequent and impactful have high burden scores. Impact and prevalence vary across key socio-demographic variables. Therefore in the chart, we let the users play and make their selections to see what are the most burdensome problems for specific groups.

How much impact did the problem have?

Legal problems affect people in different ways. Violence, stress, deterioration of important relationships and loss of job are possible consequences of legal problems.

This graph shows how much impact the justice problem had on people’s life. 

Did you look for legal information and advice?

Information and advice are key for resolving legal problems. People need to know how to limit the damage, what to do and where to go to resolve the problem. 

Did you take action to resolve the problem?

When there is a legal problem, a well functioning legal system provides one or more dispute resolution mechanisms. We call the chains of these dispute resolution mechanisms justice journeys. 

The concept of a justice journey recognizes that there are many different steps to resolve a problem. Most often these steps are not linear. The entirety of the steps that people take to resolve a problem is a justice journey.

Which are the paths to justice that people rely on?

The path to justice for people in Niger consists of more than one justice provider. In other words, people rely on a combination of justice providers to resolve their justice problems. This chart shows the proportion of Nigeriens who rely on various justice providers. 

The chart also indicates where there is scope to integrate better processes or services. For example, since a lot of people rely on the community to resolve justice problems, great processes at that level could be a gamechanger. 

How many people rely on the most commonly used providers of justice?

The above chart depicts the percentage of people who rely on each of the various providers of justice. In this chart, we estimate the total number of people who rely on the four most commonly used providers of justice.

Which was the most useful provider of justice ?

Of all the providers of justice that people in Niger rely on, here we ask which of these providers was most useful in resolving the problem.

Usefulness is a subjective concept. It allows the individual to consider the different providers involved and estimate which one had the most influence in the process of resolving the problem.

Do legal problems reach resolutions in Niger?

The number of legal problems tells us about the size of the demand for justice but it is not enough to measure the total justice gap. To measure the justice gap, it is also important to understand whether these problems are converted into fair resolutions that help people to continue with their lives.

In Niger, every year 241K problems are partially resolved. 965.4K are in a process of resolution and 2M are not resolved at all.


How do you assess the quality of justice?

We asked people in Niger to rank their satisfaction level on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 (closer to the center) is ‘not at all satisfied’ and 5 (away from the center) is ‘completely satisfied’ with the following elements of their justice journey:

– Quality of the process: Voice and neutrality, respect, procedural clarity

– Quality of the outcome: Fair distribution, damage restoration, problem resolution, outcome explanation

– Costs of accessing justice: Money spent, time spent, stress and other negative emotions.

For each dimension of the quality of justice, the rank of satisfaction is represented by the blue dot on the axis. Stress and emotions has the lowest rank which means people in Niger experience a lot of stress and negative emotions while trying to resolve their justice problem.