Community Paralegal and Village Mediation Programme (CPVMP)

Community Paralegal and Village Mediation Programme (CPVMP) is being implemented by CIRDDOC under Component 2.3 of the Justice for All (J4A) programme funded by DfID. The purpose of this intervention is to strengthen the capacity of the justice sector to deliver legal aid to citizens, especially those from poor and vulnerable groups, including women. The legal aid project embraces the provision of mediation services and legal information in line with the definition of legal aid as expressed in the Lilongwe Declaration 2004 and adopted in the draft UN Principles

Specifically, the project is not only providing affordable and accessible justice, equitable and speedy resolution of disputes through effective legal aid services which are accessible by poor people, especially women, it is also building capacity of organizations to manage disputes brought by poor people and thereby minimize risks of civil disputes escalating and creating disharmony or becoming criminalized. Furthermore, it is building awareness and understanding of, as well as respect for, citizens’ rights in particular women’s rights and rebuilding confidence of Nigerians in their justice systems. The CPVMP disseminates information and guidance on best practice and lessons learned from this intervention so as to raise the bar in standards of training and practice of legal aid and to encourage replication in other communities/states.

Dave Holness of IPLT South Africa facilitating a session during CPs training in Enugu     Eric Scheye, DfID Consultant flanked by CPs, POs & DfID staff during evaluation

The project which has linkages with other justice providers (formal and informal) including traditional leaders, police, prison, customary and magistrate courts has since inception in April 2012, trained 20 community paralegals (CPs) in the pilot communities of Ugwogo, Eha-Amufu, Nara, Nkerefi and Nomeh, all of Enugu state. The 20 CPs and 150 village mediators trained in Eha-Amufu and Nkerefi are providing mediation, paralegal as well as legal and human rights awareness services to the community members. A total of 180 cases have been handled in a space of 12 month (April 2013 – March 2014) as represented in the table and charts below.

Nature of case Marital Domestic abuse Claim/ Debt Assault Land Witchcraft Child neglect Family matter Theft Insult Animal trespass Total
Ugwogo 5 1 6 2 5 1 3 10 2 1 2 38
Eha-Amufu 9 5 5 0 5 0 1 14 2 2 0 43
Nara 8 4 9 1 7 0 2 8 0 2 1 42
Nkerefi 7 1 6 2 2 0 0 11 5 3 6 43
Nomeh 2 1 2 0 5 0 0 4 0 0 0 14
Total 31 12 28 5 24 1 6 47 9 8 9 180
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