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47973630 Introduction to Legal Literacy in Nigeria

47973630 Introduction to Legal Literacy in Nigeria

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Published by: LEX-57 the lex engine on Aug 10, 2011
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INTRODUCTION TO
 LEGAL LITERACYIN
NIGERIA
(Understanding the Nigerian Legal System)Edited by
*
Emeka Maduewesi, Esq.
*
Based upon the original work
A Guide to Legal Literacy, Understanding the U.S. Legal System, 2001
and reprinted by permission of The State Bar of California, State of California, United States of America
 
2
Table of contents
 
ForwardIntroductionChapters……………………………………………………………Page1. Where Laws Come From ……………………………………... 52. How Cases Come to Court……………………………………. 73. Types of Courts…………………………………………………. 84. Stages of a Case before Trial……………………………….. 125 The Trial…………………………………………………………. 146 The Role of Attorneys…………………………………………. 177 Who Decides……………………………………………………. 198 The Verdict……………………………………………………… 209 The Appeal……………………………………………………… 2210 Changing the System……………………………………….. 23Glossary……………………………………………………………. 24Latin Phrases and Maxims……………………………………….33
 
3
Foreword
I am particularly honoured to have been invited to write the forward to the first of many booksthat will ultimately be written by Emeka Maduewesi, a United States of America based attorney.I have known Emeka Maduewesi for twenty-two years. In the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, where we met in 1982 as classmates, we prophetically called him “Maduwest’’ (a manof the west) which his present sojourn in the U.S. has actualised.Reflecting on our days on the last floor of WH wing of Adelabu Hall, I am certainly notsurprised with the incisive writings and intellectual outpouring of Emeka Maduewesi. Hisscholarly qualities were manifest even then, in the quality of his arguments and contributions tolegal debates. His articles in ThisDay Newspaper and many other journals follow the same pathof distinction.This present work is a further demonstration of the passion of Mr. Maduewesi in contributing tothe body of knowledge. The power of knowledge is inestimable and he who adds to the body of knowledge enhances the power of knowledge. Introduction to Legal Literacy in Nigeria(Understanding The Nigeria Legal System) clearly explains, in very simple style and language,the legal process in both the criminal and civil proceedings, including the mechanism andinstitutions from which laws are introduced.Everyone in every society will have no option but to contend with laws and the legal system. It istherefore necessary to provide an insight to the public on how this essential aspect of everydaylife operates. In the words of Roscoe Pound, Dean Emeritus of Harvard law school, in his treatiseThe Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times published in 1953 American Bar Association’ssurvey of the legal profession:“Throughout the history of civilisation there have been abortive attempts to set up orto maintain a polity without law. Every utopia that has been pictured has beendesigned to dispense with lawyers. This has been manifest particularly in the idealschemes imagined after Revolutions. The organised legal profession was abolishedfollowing the French revolution and again after the Russian revolution. In each casethe attempt proved vain”.If the reality is that we must operate in a society where laws are indispensable, now is the time toput everyone in the know of concepts and processes of law in a work devoid of technicalities andcitations.In my first discussion with Mr. Maduewesi about his book, he hinted to me that when published,the book will not be sold, but will be distributed free to schools, colleges, and civil societyorganisations. What patriotism is greater than that?I respectfully recommend this book to those who will receive copies. Non lawyers will find thiswork an invaluable companion. To first year law students it will be a major foundation, and topractising lawyers, a refresher document.
Senator Ike EkweremaduChairman Senate Committee on Housing and Urban DevelopmentNational Assembly Abuja -NigeriaFebruary 2004
.

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