BHRC conducted a pilot training for lawyers from the North Eastern branches of the Nigerian Bar Association on the legal rights and protections of internally displaced persons.
The training was conducted by Kirsty Brimelow QC, chairperson of BHRC, and BHRC members Dr. Tunde Okewale MBE and Jelia Sane. They were supported by BHRC Executive Officer Amanda June Chadwick in partnership with the Policy and Strategic Planning Advisor for the NBA, Zainab Animashaun.
The training brought together 55 lawyers from NBA branches across North East Nigeria to learn the available domestic, regional and international mechanisms as well as to develop practical skills for evidence collection and preservation. The training was designed to build the capacity and expertise of lawyers working with the estimated 2 million IDPs and nearly 7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the wake of the conflicts with Boko Haram. This was the first time that lawyers from all of the branches in North East Nigeria have been brought together.
During the three-day training, the lawyers were introduced to fundamental concepts of regional and international law. Participants were also asked to participate in practical exercises on case management, drafting submissions to international treaty bodies and special rapporteurs, and conducting interviews with vulnerable witnesses.
This course has greatly improved my understanding about domestic and international law. It has been very useful because of the practical work going on day by day… I suggest it should be on a regular basis for all lawyers, not only North-East Zone only.
After the training was complete, 25 of the participants were nominated by their colleagues to participate in a fourth day of training on how to conduct the training for others. These lawyers were given guidance from BHRC on how to prepare for and conduct the training and were given the opportunity to present some of the more challenging elements of the regional and international training to their peers. The new trainers will work with the NBA’s North East Task Force to conduct training on the rights and legal protections of IDPs to other lawyers in North East Nigeria.
BHRC and the Nigerian Bar Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further their relationship and to enhance the skills of Nigerian lawyers in the practical application of human rights law in the domestic, regional and international context.
You can also read BHRC Chair Kirsty Brimelow QC’s thoughts on her 17 trips to Nigeria over the last 10 years here.
This manual was researched, complied and created by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.The pilot training is coordinated in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association.This training has received financial support from Rule of Law Expertise UK (ROLE UK), UKAid and the Dangote Foundation.