The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is Nigeria’s apex Institution for research and advanced studies in law. It was a brainchild of the legal academic community established in March 1979. One of the main ideas in founding the Institute was to establish it as the centre for advanced legal research for all the Nigerian universities with Faculties of Law, so that all postgraduate work could be undertaken there under the joint auspices of the most experienced and learned academic lawyers available in the country, whether indigenous or foreign.

The Library would be the best equipped collection of law books and publications. This would, no doubt, assist in resolving the difficulties hampering the organisation of postgraduate studies needed to fill in the gaps in the training of Nigerian lawyers at the time. At inception, the Institute was funded with generous financial and academic support from external agencies such as the Ford Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Such assistance, however, declined over time. The National Universities Commission also funded the Institute through the University of Lagos until 1984 when by virtue of Decree No. 18 of June 27, the Institute became autonomous under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

This development greatly enhanced the mandate and institutional capacity of the Institute to discharge its functions. Additionally, in 1995 the enabling law of the Institute, now fully incorporated into the Laws of the Federation 2004 as section 4(c), Cap. N112, was amended to mandate the Institute to run post-graduate courses in Legislative Drafting. Consequently, the Institute’s Postgraduate School (PGS) was established in 1997 as the Postgraduate Studies Unit with the sole aim of running a Postgraduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting (PGDLD) and Masters Degree in Legislative Drafting (LL M) This was the first of its kind, not only in Nigeria but in Africa. The Institute has also recently commenced a Ph D Programme in Legislative Drafting.


Ever questioning, Ever probing, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies! Vision foretold by founding fathers, Ideas nurtured by patriotic fervor, Urging us to make the difference, and be the nucleus of legal studies, With passion and hope our mandate deliver to be the best that we can be; A truly world class Institution, Nigeria’s law abode!



Establishment of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

(1) There is hereby established an Institute to be known as the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (in this Act referred to as “The Institute”) which shall have the functions assigned to it by this Act.

(2) The Institute shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

Membership of the Council, etc.

(1) There shall be established for the management of the affairs of the Institute a body to be known as the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Council (in this Act referred to as “the Council”)

(2) The Council shall consist of the following members, that is – (a) a Chairman to be appointed by the President; (b) a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice; (c) a representative of the Federal Ministry charged with responsibility for higher education; (d) six Deans or Heads of Faculties, or other formations of Nigerian Universities offering degree courses in law at not less than graduate level, to be appointed by the President; (e) the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School; (f) one member of the Judiciary nominated by the Chief Justice of Nigeria; (g) the President of the Nigerian Bar Association; (h) five persons of whom one shall be a woman to be appointed by the President; and (i) the Director-General of the Institute.

(3)The provisions of the Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the proceedings of the Council and the other matters therein mentioned.

Functions of the Council

(1) The Council shall be responsible for the determination of the overall policy of the Institute and in particular for the financial and operational programmes of the Institute and for ensuring implementation of such policies and programmes.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, it shall be the duty of the Council to- (a) approve the research and training programmes of the Institute (b) determine the fees to be paid for research, consulting, training and any other services that may be offered by the Institute; and (c) promote or undertake any other activity that in the opinion of the Council is calculated to help achieve the purposes of the Institute.

Click here to download NIALS Acts in PDF Format.

Our Mission

“To be the nucleus and hub of research and advanced studies in law in Nigeria”

Our Vision

“To be the primary source of information, training and advice at the highest level of policy formulation on legal matters, effectively impacting on local and international institutions in the development of law”


 Knowledge That Makes The Difference.