CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL CHALLENGES OF LAW STUDENTS ASSISTING PRISONERS IN NIGERIA AND PAKISTAN
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International Legal Ethics Conference VI
City University London
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Due to the challenge of prison congestion and criminal justice rot in Nigeria, Pakistan and Nepal, and the failure of relevant agencies to surmount it, Law Clinics in these countries have joined the crusade of prison sensitisation and decongestion. As part of the functional legal education objective of the Faculty of Law Ebonyi State University (EBSU) and Hamdard School of Law, their law clinics have significantly geared its operations to prisons/criminal justice administration. The relevance of the knowledge of ethics in prison to law students and other prison visitors cannot be overemphasized. Prior to accessing the prisons for legal aid (in Nigeria) or for street law (in Pakistan) and in Nepal, certain ethical rules and codes of conduct must be imbibed by the students. Ethics in prison exposes one to the “dos’ and ‘don’ts in the prisons. Hence, visitors to prison for interview or allied prison works should take notice of global prison best practices and ethics guiding prisons. In most prisons such codes are observed and circulated, while in some they are mere codeless moral ethical principles to be respected. The paper generally aims at identifying the particular ethical challenges that arise for students conducting real life prison access to justice programme in the case of Nigeria, and conducting Street Law or legal awareness sessions with prison populations, with a particular focus on working with juvenile detainees and the peculiarities of working within a corrupt criminal justice system in Pakistan and possibly in Nepal.