Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Legal Clinics And Socio-Economic Rights- The Street Law Approach in Ebonyi State Nigeria By Amari Omaka C., Ph.D Associate Professor of Law Ebonyi State.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Legal Clinics And Socio-Economic Rights- The Street Law Approach in Ebonyi State Nigeria By Amari Omaka C., Ph.D Associate Professor of Law Ebonyi State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Clinics And Socio-Economic Rights- The Street Law Approach in Ebonyi State Nigeria By Amari Omaka C., Ph.D Associate Professor of Law Ebonyi State University Abakaliki Nigeria

2 About EBSU Law Clinic Ebonyi State University Law Clinic, which is the students practical law firm, is under the Directorate of Clinical Legal Education of Ebonyi State University. The University established the Clinical Legal Education (CLE) programme in 2005 to boost its system of law training in practical skills development, which was hitherto nonexistent in Nigeria. Ebonyi State University Law Clinic, which is the students practical law firm, is under the Directorate of Clinical Legal Education of Ebonyi State University. The University established the Clinical Legal Education (CLE) programme in 2005 to boost its system of law training in practical skills development, which was hitherto nonexistent in Nigeria. Ours is an in-house life client clinic and street law modeled. Ours is an in-house life client clinic and street law modeled. We are generally active in environmental justice, public interest and street law programmes. We also render probono client service, but with specialisation in prison/criminal justice administration. We are generally active in environmental justice, public interest and street law programmes. We also render probono client service, but with specialisation in prison/criminal justice administration. The introduction of CLE has made positive impact not just to the students but also to the university and its immediate communities. The clinic is fast developing and making it rank among the best five in Nigeria. Students trained under the clinic have won laurels at national competitions and excelled at the Nigerian Law School The introduction of CLE has made positive impact not just to the students but also to the university and its immediate communities. The clinic is fast developing and making it rank among the best five in Nigeria. Students trained under the clinic have won laurels at national competitions and excelled at the Nigerian Law School

3 Introduction This presentation focuses on ways Ebonyi State University Law Clinic promotes social and economic rights, such as the right to education, health, food, social security, employment, social welfare, etc. through her street law and community outreach programmes. This presentation focuses on ways Ebonyi State University Law Clinic promotes social and economic rights, such as the right to education, health, food, social security, employment, social welfare, etc. through her street law and community outreach programmes.

4 Objectives of the Project In view of the enormous wealth available to the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which does not translate to a better condition of life for an average Nigerian; In view of the enormous wealth available to the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which does not translate to a better condition of life for an average Nigerian; In view of the copious socio-economic welfare provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which, is seen as non-justiciable and therefore cannot be enforced by aggrieved Nigerians when these socio- economic entitlements are not provided; In view of the copious socio-economic welfare provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which, is seen as non-justiciable and therefore cannot be enforced by aggrieved Nigerians when these socio- economic entitlements are not provided; The EBSU Law Clinic organized an ongoing street law/ advocacy programme on socio-economic rights The EBSU Law Clinic organized an ongoing street law/ advocacy programme on socio-economic rights

5 Objectives contd. The EBSU Law Clinic street law programme on socio- economic rights is specifically aimed at: The EBSU Law Clinic street law programme on socio- economic rights is specifically aimed at: 1. Sensitising the common man on the constitutionally provided state policy on social welfare through street law and community outreach programmes. 2. Inform rural Nigerians on the existence of these provisions in Nigerian constitutions. 3. Advocate for the judiciability of these provisions in Nigerian courts; and ultimately, 4. Empower rural Nigerians and make them productive through self-help projects and issues that address their social, food and health safety.

6 Understanding the Concepts (a) What is Street Law? (a) What is Street Law? Street law is a legal awareness programme designed to enable law students and others make school children, prisoners, and members of communities aware of their legal rights and where to obtain assistance. Street law is a legal awareness programme designed to enable law students and others make school children, prisoners, and members of communities aware of their legal rights and where to obtain assistance. Street law explains to people on the street how the law affects them in their daily lives and helps people to understand how the law works and how it can protect them. Street law explains to people on the street how the law affects them in their daily lives and helps people to understand how the law works and how it can protect them. Street law programme in Ebonyi State University Law Clinic via this programme give valuable insights into social justice issues in the communities they serve. Street law programme in Ebonyi State University Law Clinic via this programme give valuable insights into social justice issues in the communities they serve.

7 What are human rights? Human rights are: Human rights are: any claims that are morally just and legally granted as due to a person any claims that are morally just and legally granted as due to a person Or Or those conditions of social life without which, no man can seek in general to be himself or at his best those conditions of social life without which, no man can seek in general to be himself or at his best Or Or those rights or claims that are inherent in man. those rights or claims that are inherent in man.

8 According to the author, The Helsinki Act defines human right as According to the author, The Helsinki Act defines human right as the right to be free from governmental violations of the integrity of the person; the right to the fulfillment of such vital needs as food, shelter, health care and education, and the right to enjoy civil and political liberties…. I.e. basic claims of humans by virtue of his or her humanness the right to be free from governmental violations of the integrity of the person; the right to the fulfillment of such vital needs as food, shelter, health care and education, and the right to enjoy civil and political liberties…. I.e. basic claims of humans by virtue of his or her humanness

9 (b) What are Socio-Economic Rights? These are rights and life-sustaining entitlement to persons as guaranteed by law. These are rights and life-sustaining entitlement to persons as guaranteed by law. They include social welfare, cultural and religious liberty, healthcare provision, education and eradication of illiteracy, employment, food security, social security, employment, Social Justice,rights etc. They include social welfare, cultural and religious liberty, healthcare provision, education and eradication of illiteracy, employment, food security, social security, employment, Social Justice,rights etc. They are life-enhancing rights, which will enable individual citizens make useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides including protection of children, young persons and provision/protection of the vulnerable against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect. They are life-enhancing rights, which will enable individual citizens make useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides including protection of children, young persons and provision/protection of the vulnerable against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect.

10 Socio-Economic Provisions of CFRN In summary the part II of the CFRN has made copious provision touching the lives and well being of ordinary Nigerians in the areas social welfare, health, education, employment, social security, etc. In summary the part II of the CFRN has made copious provision touching the lives and well being of ordinary Nigerians in the areas social welfare, health, education, employment, social security, etc. Yet not much is done to bring this to reflect in the lives of the common man. Yet not much is done to bring this to reflect in the lives of the common man.

11 Socio-Economic Rights & Nigerian Constitution By the provisions of section 14(1) CFRN, it is also the duty of government to conform to, observe, apply & protect the socio- economic rights & the fundamental principles of democracy, social justice, & the security/ welfare of the people. By the provisions of section 14(1) CFRN, it is also the duty of government to conform to, observe, apply & protect the socio- economic rights & the fundamental principles of democracy, social justice, & the security/ welfare of the people. It also provided that the security and welfare of the people should be the primary purpose of government- S.14(2)(b). And that the government shall control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom & happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice & equality of status & opportunity- S.16(1)(b). It also provided that the security and welfare of the people should be the primary purpose of government- S.14(2)(b). And that the government shall control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom & happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice & equality of status & opportunity- S.16(1)(b). Ensure that suitable & adequate shelter, suitable & adequate food, reasonable minimum living wage, old age care & pensions, & unemployment, sick benefits & welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens- S.16(1)(b).. Ensure that suitable & adequate shelter, suitable & adequate food, reasonable minimum living wage, old age care & pensions, & unemployment, sick benefits & welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens- S.16(1)(b)..

12 Non-justiciability of Part II CFRN containing socio-economic provisions Unfortunately, and despite the above social welfare provisions, s. 6(6)(c) of CFRN ironically provides that: Unfortunately, and despite the above social welfare provisions, s. 6(6)(c) of CFRN ironically provides that: The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section shall not …, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act of omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section shall not …, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act of omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution

13 Non-justiciability In other words, failure by the government to provide these social welfare shall not be challenged by any person (s) or contestable in a court of law. In other words, failure by the government to provide these social welfare shall not be challenged by any person (s) or contestable in a court of law.

14 Grand Rationale Thus, the crux of this presentation is to share our ideas on delivery of socio-economic, health and welfare services to the common man through street law programme and clinic outreaches. Thus, the crux of this presentation is to share our ideas on delivery of socio-economic, health and welfare services to the common man through street law programme and clinic outreaches. By so doing, other clinics will learn from our experiences. By so doing, other clinics will learn from our experiences. We also hope that through this presentation we shall get information from panelist/participants that will help us do better in our law clinic. We also hope that through this presentation we shall get information from panelist/participants that will help us do better in our law clinic.

15 EBSU law Clinic & implementation of socio-economic rights Ebonyi State University Law Clinic has been sensitising the poor and ignorant masses on how to insist on the implementation of these social welfare policies by government Ebonyi State University Law Clinic has been sensitising the poor and ignorant masses on how to insist on the implementation of these social welfare policies by government We have been advocating for making these social policies fundamental rights that are enforceable in courts of law in Nigeria. We have been advocating for making these social policies fundamental rights that are enforceable in courts of law in Nigeria.

16 The Target Groups SchoolsSchools Rural dwellersRural dwellers MarketsMarkets Churches and worship centresChurches and worship centres Rural communitiesRural communities The illiterateThe illiterate

17 Methodology Students write letters to target groups booking appointment Students write letters to target groups booking appointment Students seek audience with school and community heads Students seek audience with school and community heads Students are divided into groups to visit different target groups Students are divided into groups to visit different target groups Students prepare their lesson plans Students prepare their lesson plans Students teach/sensitise/share models of insisting on the socio-economic rights on appointed days Students teach/sensitise/share models of insisting on the socio-economic rights on appointed days Receive feedback, questions Receive feedback, questions Students respond Students respond Students write their reports Students write their reports Students are assessed for academic credit Students are assessed for academic credit

18 International Instruments and Rights Tehran 1968 Tehran 1968 Since human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible, the full realization of civil and political liberties without the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible[1]. Since human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible, the full realization of civil and political liberties without the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible[1].[1] [1] First World Conference on Human Rights, Teheran Iran 1968. [1] First World Conference on Human Rights, Teheran Iran 1968. [1]

19 Vienna 1993 Vienna 1993 All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis[1] All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis[1][1] [1] Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action - product of the 1993 World Conference of Human Rights, para 5. [1] Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action - product of the 1993 World Conference of Human Rights, para 5. [1]

20 UNGA 1977 UNGA 1977 All human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible and interdependent, equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the implementation, promotion and protection of both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. All human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible and interdependent, equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the implementation, promotion and protection of both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. The full realization of civil and political rights without the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible; the achievement of lasting progress in the implementation of human rights is dependent upon sound and effective national and international policies of economic and social development[1]. The full realization of civil and political rights without the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible; the achievement of lasting progress in the implementation of human rights is dependent upon sound and effective national and international policies of economic and social development[1].[1] [1] UNGA Resolution 32/130 of 1977. [1] UNGA Resolution 32/130 of 1977. [1]

21 Taking the law to the streets: picture speak! Note: About 20 pictures of our street law activities would be shown on presentation

22 Interaction Brainstorming/Group discussion/Activity Brainstorming/Group discussion/Activity 1.Suggest ways law clinicians can make Part 2 of Nigerian Constitution justiciable in view of the provisions of s.6(6)(c) of CFRN. 1.Suggest ways law clinicians can make Part 2 of Nigerian Constitution justiciable in view of the provisions of s.6(6)(c) of CFRN. In other words, how can law clinics empower, stand up and insist on the implementation of these socio-economic rights? In other words, how can law clinics empower, stand up and insist on the implementation of these socio-economic rights?

23 Interactive activity contd. 2.Do your countries have similar non-justiciable provisions and what is the attitude of the courts in your country with regards to such policies? 2.Do your countries have similar non-justiciable provisions and what is the attitude of the courts in your country with regards to such policies? 3. The historical marginalisation of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) has led in many quarters to doubts about their status as rights properly so called. Lawyers sometimes confuse the concept of rights with the concept of justiciability - a norm which entitles a litigant to maintain action in court when the right is violated or breached 3. The historical marginalisation of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) has led in many quarters to doubts about their status as rights properly so called. Lawyers sometimes confuse the concept of rights with the concept of justiciability - a norm which entitles a litigant to maintain action in court when the right is violated or breached Can rights be properly so called without justiciability? Can rights be properly so called without justiciability?

24 Conclusion Can civil and political rights be enjoyed without socio-economic rights guaranteed? These doubts on the rights bearing nature of ESCR have in many instances rendered the justiciable rights in Chapter 4 of the Constitution hollow. Adopting Justice Bhagwattis postulations in Minerva Mills ltd v Union of India[1], it is stated: These doubts on the rights bearing nature of ESCR have in many instances rendered the justiciable rights in Chapter 4 of the Constitution hollow. Adopting Justice Bhagwattis postulations in Minerva Mills ltd v Union of India[1], it is stated:[1][1] To the large majority of people who are living in almost sub-human existence in conditions of abject poverty and for who life is one long unbroken story of want and destitution, notions of individual freedom and liberation, though representing some of the most cherished values of a society would sound as empty words bandied about in the drawing rooms of the rich and well to do and the only solution for making these rights meaningful to them was to re-make the material conditions and usher in a new social order where socio economic justice will inform all institutions of public life so that the preconditions for fundamental liberties for all may be secured. [1] 1980 AIR SC [1] 1980 AIR SC [1]

25 Wrap up We have generated a position paper and sent to Nigerian National Assembly for the amendment of Nigerian Constitution to make Fundamental Objectives of State Policy where these rights are entrenched legally enforceable in Nigeria We have generated a position paper and sent to Nigerian National Assembly for the amendment of Nigerian Constitution to make Fundamental Objectives of State Policy where these rights are entrenched legally enforceable in Nigeria We are waiting! We are waiting!


Download ppt "Legal Clinics And Socio-Economic Rights- The Street Law Approach in Ebonyi State Nigeria By Amari Omaka C., Ph.D Associate Professor of Law Ebonyi State."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google