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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS REPRESENTATION SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF AFIKPO CUSTOMARY COURT AFIKPO)
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- Name:DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS REPRESENTATION SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF AFIKPO CUSTOMARY COURT AFIKPO)
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Online legal practitioner representation system is a legal platform that is aimed at curtailing the problems encountered in the old system where appellants were compelled to seek for legal representation house by house and often time ending up with lawyers who has no inclination in their area of petition. The system is designed to successfully communicate legal activities on the web by making lawyers’ profile available on the internet for appellants, thereby allowing for a more transparent judicial system. This work was motivated by the author’s love for justice and fairness as many people over the years has lost cases that should have been ruled to their as a result of not having a qualified lawyer. In order to gather valid information, the author had to use both primary and secondary means of data sourcing because he believed there is need for him to hear and as well put himself in the shoes of the appellants by interviewing them, coupled with his previous observation and also consulting published articles related to field under study. The author found out that the inability of most lawyers to effectively represent their client in the lawsuit was a prevalent issue because of their lack of expertise in the said filed suit. The method of design adopted for this project was Iterative System Design and it was implemented using PHP, MySql and CSS. To conclude, integrated documentation and knowledge based computerized services in information system is a tremendous means to help legal professionals in their daily practice and also improve the quality of law firms, therefore, this work is recommended to all law firms, as it would help in building a more interactive legal system.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Approval page iii
Table of Content vii
List of Tables xi
List of Figures xii
Chapter one: Introduction 1
- Historical background of the study 2
- Statement of the problem 3
- Objectives of the study 3
- Scope and limitation of the study 4
- Importance of the study 4
- Definition of terms 4
Chapter two: Review of related literature 7
2.1 Legal Aid and Access to Justice 13
Chapter three: System investigation and analysis 18
3.1 Applied method of investigation 18
3.2 Facts identified 19
3.2.1 Organizational chart 20
3.2.2 Procedure chart 22
3.3 Analysis of the current system 22
3.3.1 Input of the current system 23
3.3.2 Output of the old system 24
3.4 proposal of a new system 24
3.5 benefits of a new system 24
3.6 approach to the new system 25
3.7 justification of the new system 25
Chapter four: Design methodology 27
- Objectives of the new system 27
- System block diagram 28
4.2.1 System flowchart 29
4.2.2 Main menu 30
4.3 Output design 31
4.3.1 Output fields description 32
4.3.2 Output file 33
4.4 Input design 34
4.5 Program design 36
4.6 Database Design 38
4.6.1 Entity Relationship Diagram 39
4.6.2 Database structure 40
4.7 Flowcharts of the modules to be programmed 43
4.8 Data dictionary 50
4.9 Programming language of choice 54
Chapter five: System documentation and implementation 55
5.1 Hardware operating system requirement for the system to run 55
5.2 Software requirement 55
- How to install the system 56
- Training of the system’s administrator 57
- Implementation details 57
- System testing 57
- File conversion 58
- Change over procedure 58
- Maintenance Details 59
Chapter six: Summary, conclusion and recommendation 61
- Summary 61
- Conclusion 61
- Recommendation 62
Appendix A 65
Appendix B 69
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: Output field description 32
Table. 4.2: Input Fields Description 34
Table 4.3: Description of database fields 38
Table 4.4: A Data Dictionary Table 50
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig. 3.1: Organizational Chart of Customary Court, Afikpo 20
Fig. 3.2: Procedural Chart of the Old System 22
Fig. 4.1: Iterative system design model 27
Fig. 4.2: A System Block Diagram 28
Fig. 4.3: A System Flowchart 30
Fig. 4.4: System’s Main Menu 31
Fig. 4.5: A Typical Output File 33
Fig. 4.6: Database design 38
Fig. 4.7: ER Diagram 39
Fig. 4.8: The Home module flowchart 43
Fig. 4.9: The About Us module flowchart 43
Fig. 4.10. The search result module’s flowchart 44
Fig. 4.11. The Create Account Module flowchart 45
Fig. 4.12. The member login module’s flowchart 46
Fig. 4.13. The Admin login module’s flowchart 47
Fig. 4.14. The profile module’s flowchart. 48
Fig. 4.15. The member_db module’s flowchart. 49
Fig. 5. Home module’s screen shut 65
Fig. 6. About module’s screen shut 65
Fig. 7. Searchresult module’s screen shut 66
Fig. 8. Create Account module’s screen shut 66
Fig. 9. Login module’s screen shut 67
Fig. 10. Profile module’s screen shut 67
Fig. 11. Edit Profile module’s screen shut 68
Fig. 11. Member_Db module’s screen shut 68
For most people, hiring a lawyer is one of the things they wish they never have to go through because it involves a big commitment of employing another individual to represent your interest adequately by ensuring that whatever reason you employed them for, is achieved quickly and smoothly. Understanding the scope of the issue for which one wishes to hire a lawyer is always pertinent as it usually helps to know the kind of lawyer to look for.
The online legal practitioner representation system is a legal platform that is aimed at ameliorating the problem encountered in the old system where both search parties (appellants and respondents) limited their search scheme to only asking for recommendation of a good lawyer; usually from their friends and relatives who has had similar needs in the past. This method of asking for recommendation for a good lawyer has for long left the search parties at mercies of lawyers who has no inclination (expertise) on the said filed suit, thereby resulting to inefficient representation. To solve the above problem of inefficient legal representation, this system makes available the profile of lawyers (Barristers and Solicitors) on the internet for the general public, thereby enabling them to make a better choice as to the lawyer that will best suit their need, after comparing the available profiles.
The online legal practitioner representation system cuts across all facets of life where law plays a role and other activities which postulates and requires the use of legal knowledge and skill which adopts legal process.
- Historical Background of the Study
Over the years, people in a quest to be effectively represented in a lawsuit, has limited their search scheme to only asking people to recommend a lawyer for them, usually because they have once had issues that required the services of a lawyer in the past.
There exists tens of thousands of lawyers in Nigeria and getting the one that best suits one’s need has for so long posed an unabatable threat.
The basic interest of a lawyer lies in protecting the interest of his client. Although, they are recognized as “learned fellow”, not all of them are suitable for all cases; lawyers has areas they specialize on. For instance, using a company lawyer for a criminal case, may not really go well as he or she is specialized in protecting the interest (properties, policies, right, etc) of an organization, but using a criminal lawyer will undoubtedly yield a positive result because that is where the lawyer specializes.
Most lawyers over the years has played the defense role inn suits whose scope is beyond their limit (expertise) and lawyers of Customary Court, Afikpo are not exception to this menace, though, such an act is usually triggered by the lawyer’s exigent needs which are capital intensive. Therefore, a system such as the online legal practitioner representation will help curb such menace.
- Statement of the Problem
The present system used to hire a lawyer in Customary Court, Afikpo could be referred to as the manual system where both the appellants and the respondents goes from house to house seeking for legal representation and this in most cases usually result to a poor representation as they often end up getting a lawyer who is unskilled in their area of filed suit, thereby, making them loose a case that should have been ruled to their favor, had they a skilled lawyer.
- Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are to enhance the concept of using an online legal practitioner representation system in Customary Court, Afikpo. Having such a platform as this running will help to achieve the following objectives
- Save the time and resources which appellants and respondents invests all in the name of looking for a lawyer.
- Give appellants and respondents equal chances for justices by making lawyers’ profile available for them to easily access.
- Build a more transparent and interactive judicial system.
- Scope and Limitation of the Study
This system centers only for Customary Court, Afikpo.
- Importance of the Study
The benefits derivable from this work includes
- It will help in ensuring that appellants and respondents hires an advocate who best suits their needs.
- It will save time and cost of having to spend close to a month to get a good lawyer.
- There is room for comparison; lawyers’ profile are made public, thereby allowing the users to compare their choices.
- Definition of Terms
- A LAWYER: A lawyer is a person who is learned and trained in law. He is qualified to advice people about the law and represent them in the law court.
- A BARRISTER: A barrister is an individual who specifies proceedings and any appeal brought in connection with those proceedings.
- APPELLANT: An appellant is one who takes a case to the court. He is also the complainant.
- RESPONDENT: This is a person who is responding to the complaint. He defends a claim.
- LITIGATION: This is a process of making or defending a claim (case) in a law court.
- LEGAL REPRESENTATION: This is a process where a lawyer stands in for his/her client interest in a law suit.
- JUDGES: The judge leads in a proceeding and has the authority to decide on who the offender is.
- PROCEEDINGS: This is an activity carried out in a law court in a bid to settle a dispute.
- APPEAL: This can be a formal request for a judgment to be passed on a case.
- MOTION: A written or oral application made to a court or judge to obtain a ruling or order directing that some act be done in favor of the applicant. The applicant is known as the ‘’Moving Party” or simply the “Movant”.
- DEFENDANT: An individual, company or institution sued or accused in a law court.
- SOLICITOR: A member of the legal profession qualified to deal with conveyancing, the drawing up of wills, and other legal matters. A solicitor may also instruct barristers and represent clients in some courts.