This long essay aims to examine the existence of rights, under the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, accorded to victims of crime, witnesses in criminal proceedings and criminal defendants and analyze them through comparison with both the antecedence of Nigerian administration of criminal justice as well as global and international standards on these rights through a qualitative doctrinal research of said Act. The purpose of this is to explore the provisions of the ACJA to investigate whether the Act lives up to the many accolades it has received from legal scholars and jurists since its enactment. This is because, the furtherance of the rights and interests of such parties – victims and defendants especially – is part of the purpose set out in section 1 of the Act. In addition, this long essay will examine if the Act is in line with global and international standards to accord a set of rights to witnesses, a class of parties to criminal proceedings who is not covered by the innovative purport of the ACJA.
In order to achieve the above research objectives, this long essay has explored the Nigerian administration of criminal justice system, from the precolonial era of criminal justice administration and examine the evolutions until the present regime of the ACJA. The purpose is to provide a background and foundation for the evaluation of how much progress the system has made due to its enactment. This long essay then identified the established rights of the concerned parties internationally as well as the rights provided for by the ACJA in order to demonstrate how well the Act has done in comparison to these standards, which are the goals of States in the present global legal climate. After identifying the aforementioned facts, this long essay then undertaken a critical analysis on the performance of the ACJA regarding the provided rights of each class of individuals researched upon.
On this, the long essay posits that the ACJA has achieved much in comparison to both its past and its goals for the future. However, some critical observations and findings as to its specific performance regarding each party concerned will be highlighted. As a result of the findings in this study, this long essay recommends amendments to the Act regarding the rights of victims and witnesses as well as towards elevating the status of witnesses under the Act. It is believed that this will go a long way in moving the Nigerian administration of criminal justice system closer to the goal of meeting global and international standards.
Keywords: ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Act’, ‘Rights’, ‘Victim’, ‘Witness’, ‘Defendant’.
SSA, R (2021). An Appraisal Of The Rights Of Victims, Witnesses And Defendants Under The Administration Of Criminal Justce Act (Acja) 2015. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/an-appraisal-of-the-rights-of-victims-witnesses-and-defendants-under-the-administration-of-criminal-justce-act-acja-2015
Research, SSA. "An Appraisal Of The Rights Of Victims, Witnesses And Defendants Under The Administration Of Criminal Justce Act (Acja) 2015" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/an-appraisal-of-the-rights-of-victims-witnesses-and-defendants-under-the-administration-of-criminal-justce-act-acja-2015 . Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.
Research, SSA. "An Appraisal Of The Rights Of Victims, Witnesses And Defendants Under The Administration Of Criminal Justce Act (Acja) 2015". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/an-appraisal-of-the-rights-of-victims-witnesses-and-defendants-under-the-administration-of-criminal-justce-act-acja-2015 >.
Research, SSA. "An Appraisal Of The Rights Of Victims, Witnesses And Defendants Under The Administration Of Criminal Justce Act (Acja) 2015" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 17, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/an-appraisal-of-the-rights-of-victims-witnesses-and-defendants-under-the-administration-of-criminal-justce-act-acja-2015