Imagine we had no courts in Nigeria and for every crime committed, or every dispute that needs resolving, citizens had to travel all the way to Abuja to have a judge decide on the matter. The thief who stole Iya Bisi’s goat in Ibadan or Ogbuefi who almost beat his houseboy to death in Enugu, or Cletus that duped his co-founder. Ridiculous right?
Well, this was once the case. There were no local courts and for every crime committed in various towns or villages, the aggrieved persons had to travel to see the supreme monarch of the country to get justice.
In England, this stopped when the King instituted the custom of having judges travel through assigned territories in the country known as circuits every year to hear cases of the citizens rather than requiring them to bring their cases to him in London. Upon getting to these towns, the judges convened a court and after they had administered justice in that town they would move the court to the next town.
These judges later became known as circuit judges.
*cue suspenseful music*
Introducing… DIYlaw Circuit
Like the judges of old who convened small courts in towns to administer justice to the people, DIYlaw with the partnership of volunteer lawyers would organize circuit events in various grassroots communities like markets and schools with the aim of offering free legal consultation services.
With the Circuit series, we go a step further in our quest to create access to legal services, a little closer in our journey to create access to justice.
The Circuit series will inform citizens of their rights, and resolve conflict.
The Circuit series will encourage fair contract dealings and advise on property rights.
The Circuit series will advise on domestic violence and sexual harassment
The Circuit will resolve family disputes, inheritance matters, and resolve commercial disputes.
The Circuit series is justice for everyday people.
For now, we are piloting with the Market Circuit and our first Market Circuit was held 25 April 2018 at the new Alade Market. To read more about how that went, click here