The Juritrust Centre identified twelve training manuals on implementation of ACJA. A few of the manuals were specifically devoted to police and investigators, judges and
prosecutors but most were general ACJA manuals. Rather than develop another ACJA manual, the Juritrust Centre collaborated with some members of the Criminal Justice Cohort of the McArthur Foundation On Nigeria Grant, to explore ways of harmonizing and filling the gaps in existing ACJA manuals. This produced a workbook that could double as a library reference tool and also serve as a Judge’s companion guide in court or a practitioner’s pocket book in the course of trial. A combined team of internal and external researchers were assembled to complete development of four harmonized workbooks: one each for Judges, Magistrates, Defence Lawyers and Investigators & Prosecutors.
The Workbooks acknowledge existing manuals known to the researchers at the time of compilation, with appropriate references and web links provided. Consultation with several pre-existing ACJA manual authors enabled Juritrust generate baselines for each of its four workbooks. The workbooks reflect the most recent decisions of appellate courts at the time of compilation and innovations introduced by newer ACJLs. The general tripartite structure for the workbooks are: Pre-Trial, Trial, Appeals and Post-Trial Matters.
The workbooks attempt to reconcile conflicting judicial decisions on Investigative Interviews, Arrest and Statement Taking, Confessions and Admissibility of Confessional Statements, Administrative Bail and Plea Bargain Agreements. It familiarizes users with newer terrains of Disclosure Protocols under ACJA, Virtual Criminal Proceedings, De-clogging of Courts and Case Management, Sentencing Hearings, Admissibility of Forensic and Digital Evidence, Objectives, Scope and Guidelines for Non-Custodial Sentencing, Judicial Visits to Detention Centres, and Prosecution and Investigation Functions and Collaboration.
The four workbooks have a total of sixty-four units discussing various topics and issues arising under ACJA and ACJLs.
The Juritrust training unit will commence validation exercises for each of the four workbooks in January 2023. Feedback received from the validation exercises will be incorporated into the final versions and the workbooks will be made available to the public in print and electronic copies in the course of 2023.