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Human Rights Law Service HURILAWS "started in 1997 as a specialist provider of human rights legal services and purveyor of skills in the legal aspects of transition management.

"Today, HURILAWS is also a public policy think-tank and pressure group working in partnership with multi-sector development and change actors to promote accountable and transparent governance in Nigeria. In particular, HURILAWS is the driver of the Multi-Sector Law Group (MSLG), which is a multi-disciplinary network of civil society actors and organizations for democratic change in Nigeria, chaired by Olisa Agbakoba, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and founder of HURILAWS. HURILAWS is able to draw on the skills of a wide range of specialists in law, public and economic policy, among its staff of sixteen people and associates." [1]

Member of the Africa Democracy Forum.


"A 1995 country study of the legal protection of human rights in Nigeria by Olisa Agbakoba for the International Centre for the Legal protection of Human Rights INTERIGHTS and the Inter-African Network for Human Rights and Development AFRONET identified a critical need for specialist human rights law service providers.

"This need derived from the history and structure of the human rights movement in Nigeria. Human rights activism in Nigeria has focused primarily on campaigning, documentation, research and advocacy on violations and abuses of human rights. Nigerian NGOs acquired considerable expertise in investigating, monitoring and reporting of human rights abuses and campaigning to eradicate these abuses. By the early 1990s, a degree of specialization had developed among Nigerian NGOs along ‘strategy’ and ‘issue’ lines. Some NGOs employed litigation as a tool for advancing their respective causes from the death penalty to gender equity, but this was largely on an ad hoc basis. Experience has shown that while conventional human rights organizations are well suited to investigating and reporting on human rights violations, they do not necessarily have the time, resources or capacity to effectively engage in public interest litigation.

"HURILAWS was established to advance human rights through organized and consistent public interest litigation. We decided to specialize in this field as a result of the absence of specialist human rights litigators. We considered that the provision of a specialist public and human rights law services, provided by legal professionals with extensive expertise in the field, would benefit civil society and advance the development of a rights-based jurisprudence.

"The legal professionals at HURILAWS have extensive experience in litigating human rights cases under the aegis of the law firm of Olisa Agbakoba and Associates. Much of the human rights litigation done by the legal staff of Olisa Agbakoba & Associates in the months prior to January 1997 dovetailed into activities under HURILAWS. They are committed to using their experience to assist not only individual victims of human rights abuses, but also civil society institutions, disadvantaged communities and groups, youth organizations, community-based organizations and trade unions." [2]



Accessed September 2007: [3]


Accessed September 2007: [4]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. HURILAWS Profile, HURILAWS, accessed September 14, 2007.
  2. HURILAWS Profile, HURILAWS, accessed September 14, 2007.
  3. Management, HURILAWS, accessed September 14, 2007.
  4. Advisory, HURILAWS, accessed September 14, 2007.