Pretrial Detainees' Law Clinics is a NULAI-Nigeria Project providing access to justice to indigent and vulnerable pretrial detainees in Nigeria. Law students working at these law clinics help provide paralegal human resources that fill the gap in providing services that help improve access to justice to indigent awaiting detainees. Such services include; access to legal representation/case referrals; bail; speeding of charge and commencement of trial; monitor detainees court appearances; helped to establish contact with family members; and advocacy for release to State Chief Judges and State Attorney Generals. It is important to note that in Nigeria, no institution has this advantage to mobilize the volume of persons with required capacity for this work as evidenced by law clinics.

Download Campus-Based Law Clinics in Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria that tracks how law clinics’ involvement in criminal justice in Nigeria has evolved overtime under the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), Nigeria.

Some highlights of Pre-trial detainee projects 

Reforming Pretrial Detention in Kuje Prison Project (Refrom Kuje) July 2018 – May 2020. This project is funded by Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States of America to support the Government of Nigeria to achieve a significant reduction in the size of the pretrial detention population in Kuje prison. This will be accomplished by monitoring the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) pre-trial detention provisions and using data to work collaboratively with justice sector actors to address gaps and bottlenecks obstructing implementation of the ACJA. The project is implemented by a consortium led by PartnersGlobal from the United States of America and led locally by NULAI Nigeria in partnership with New-Rule LLC, The Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Abuja Law Clinic, Nile University Law Clinic, and University of Baze Law clinic.  For more information see

Project Synopsis

Report of Stakeholders Workshop and Project Launch

Indicators and Monitoring Framework for Pre-trial Detention Provisions of the ACJA


Expanding Access to Justice to Pre-trial Detainees Across Nigeria December 2017 – March 2019: 

The project is funded by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). The project supported 20 Law Clinics to provide access to justice services to indigent pre-trial detainees and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of law clinics in providing legal services and justice education.

Read Law Students reflections and stories

Access to Justice for Pre-trial Detainees in Nigeria January 2014 – December 2014

In 2014 under NULAI Nigeria Prison pre-trial detainee project supported by Justice4All-DFID, 725 law students from 12 law clinics trained on prison pre-trial detention visited 21 prisons and provided access to justice services to 1,043 victims of prolonged pre-trial detention. This project developed an online case management system that was used by 12 law clinics to improve effective service delivery and enhance data collection on status of pre-trial detainees across Nigerian prisons. 

Details of other interventions that have led to the development of pre-trial detention law clinics in Nigeria can be accessed through the underlisted links. 

All African Conference on Pre-trial and Criminal Justice

Prison Pre-trial Teacher Training Workshops supported by MacArthur Foundation

Law Clinics Pre-trial detainee in numbers

Pretrial Detainee Newsletter Vol 3

Pretrial Detainee Newsletter Vol 2

A Pretrial Detainee's Diary

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