Traditional Versus Modern Judicial Practices: A Comparative Analysis of Dispute Resolution Systems among the South-West Yoruba of Nigeria

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Taiwo, O. O
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Some of the preliminary issues to be considered in this paper are the extent to which modern day judicial practices, as manifested in Courts are well fitted for Dispute Resolution. The second is whether disputes are central to the work of Courts. The nature of responses to these issues will justify the need or otherwise for an alternative dispute resolution method. The problem with seeing dispute processing as central to the work of courts is two-fold. First, there are good grounds for saying that the adjudicative process of courts is extremely poorly fitted for dispute resolution. Secondly, there seems to be considerable evidence that a great deal probably the major part in terms of total number of cases - of courts' work is concerned with matters other than disputes in these senses. Each of these matters will be looked at in turn. For in so far as the work of courts is held to centre on adjudication and the role of the judge is seen as being to decide the 'rights and wrongs' as between two parties in dispute and to provide a dichotomous solution to their conflict in which one party is held to be right and the other wrong, courts and judges stand at the opposite end of the continuum of dispute settlement from mediation or negotiation through a go-between. They stand at that end of the continuum where consent of both parties to a solution put forward by the third party (judge) is least likely. Consequently, the processing of the dispute by the court is unlikely to result in a genuine resolution of it; that is, a solution acceptable to both parties. The dichotomous right! Wrong judicial solution is likely to appear as an imposed two-against-one solution which may make continuing relations between the disputants difficult or impossible.
Dispute , Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) , Judicial practice , Courts of Law , Mediation , Conflict resolution
Taiwo, O. O. (1997). Traditional versus modern judicial practices: a comparative analysis of dispute resolution systems among the South-West Yoruba of Nigeria. Paper presented at the Tenth Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management at Gustav-Stresemann Institute V, Bonn (Bad Godesberg), Germany.