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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Informal Justice: A Critical Analysis of Informal Process of Justice in Rural Kilba, Mumuye and Jukun of Nigeria
Author:Sa'ad, Abdul-Mumun
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:popular justice
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24486883
Abstract:Protagonists of informal justice in Nigeria claim it is more just than formal justice, especially when people of low socioeconomic status are involved. The virtues they attribute to informal justice relate to the nature of the process, its sociostructural organization and its outcome. Thus, the informal justice process is said to be cheap and speedy. Dispute settlers do no more than mediate between disputants, so that everybody in the community participates in the dispute settlement process. Secondly, protagonists of informal justice claim there is status equality between dispute settlers and disputants. Thirdly, they claim the informal dispute settlement process is based on consensus rather than the use of sanctions. In this paper the author assesses these so-called virtues in light of empirical materials drawn from Kilba, Mumuye and Jukun societies. He finds that informal justice in these rural communities of former Gongola State lacks most of the virtues propagated as inherently informal. This could be attributed to the socioeconomic context within which informal justice in these societies operates at present, which is an amalgam of precapitalist and capitalist modes of production. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.