General News Mon, 12 Apr 1999

"Traditional judicial system is ideal in Africa" - Former Nigerian Chief Justice.

Accra (Greater Accra) 9 April '99


Mr Justice Olankunle Orojo, a retired chief judge of Nigeria, on Friday advised African countries to take advantage of the various traditional and cultural judicial machinery in their societies to provide a wide scope for more people to have access to justice. "Many of the minor cases that bog down our lower courts today can be usefully and happily settled by traditional leaders in their Palace Courts", he added. Mr Justice Orogo was delivering a paper on " Access to Justice, The Delivery of the Rule of Law by the Provision of Legal Services" at a four- day African Regional Conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) currently in session in Accra. The conference is on the theme, "Practising Law in the 21st Century--Meeting the Challenges''. He said in many African societies, the power and influence of the "palace courts" cannot be under-estimated. "These courts settle scores of cases within a short time and that disputes are amicably settled and there is no 'winner' or 'loser', and both parties usually go away satisfied and happy." The retired Nigerian judge said what should be considered is a legislation to back the system. "This will provide access to justice to a large number of people who cannot afford the expenses of the ordinary court procedure."

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