6. Conclusion

This report has been developed to support the Strategy Document, Civil Justice Transformation in Ogun State, published in April 2021. The findings in this report accompany the strategies developed in the stakeholder dialogues with data and know how that is relevant for the implementation phase. The data in Chapter 2 give an indication of the capacity needed. We estimated the number of problems that Ogun citizens have to resolve each year, in each of the four problem categories. The basis for this is data on prevalence of justice problems in Nigeria in 2018, so estimates may need to be revisited during the implementation phase.

In Chapter 3, we followed the justice journeys of Nigerians for the most frequent civil justice problems. This gives an indication of how people in Ogun State currently resolve these problems. Starting from this baseline, the stakeholders developed strategies to improve resolution and prevention of these problems. They formulated four goals, looked at indicators of success, explored game-changing justice services to achieve the goals and investigated pathways to implementation. 

Chapter 4 contains information on how other jurisdictions deal with the four categories of justice problems that the stakeholders have selected. It also gives access to research on what works to resolve or prevent such justice problems. The strategies that have been selected by the stakeholders are in line with what is being undertaken in other jurisdictions. Experiences from other Nigerian states and insights from major R&D programs are available. For land conflicts and domestic violence, we derived a clear list of attention points from this extensive knowledge base. For resolution of neighbour disputes and separation/divorce problems the international sharing is less advanced, but useful insights could be derived as well. 

For each of the four goals, it is recommended to distinguish between the interventions that can resolve or prevent the problem and the services model that deliver these interventions to the people needing them. The first is about finding the best possible “treatments” for land grabbing or different types of domestic violence. The second is about scaling justice services in a sustainable way. For the former, it is recommended to investigate best practices and evaluation studies of interventions, leading to practice guidelines similar to the ones used in the health care sector and increasingly also in the justice sector. For scaling justice services, game-changing models exist that can be further developed and adapted to the realities in Ogun State. The stakeholders focused on services that can be delivered in the communities, close to where people live and in the settings where land conflicts, neighbour problems, separations and domestic violence occur. They also investigated how these local justice services can be linked to the civil justice services delivered by the courts, ensuring high quality interventions that protect vulnerable groups. This is a main challenge for many jurisdictions and it is possible to benefit from experiences elsewhere. 

Chapter 5 contains a brief discussion of the enabling environment for delivering effective interventions through game-changing models for justice services. This may require new regulation models for legal services and for procedures. When further implementing the strategies, the stakeholders will have to navigate the regulatory environment.