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Resurgence of the Traditional Justice System in Postcolonial Benin (Nigeria) Society

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Abstract Rules and norms of behaviour are common features in human society. This is confirmed by human being’s desire for protection, fairness and mutual respect from fellow humans in their social groups. Recognized authorities whose sanctions are respected help to ensure fairness and mutual respect for each other. For the traditional Benin (African) society, the issue of law and justice is the joint concern of the deities, ancestors and the human members within the society. The aim of this paper, is to examine (i) the relevance of traditional justice system in postcolonial Benin (African) society; and (ii) the unwavering respect for traditional values which the Benin (African) people have maintained even in a postcolonial era; and argue that the continual preference for traditional methods of obtaining justice by the people of Benin (Africa) are not unconnected with the inherent limitations of the received English legal system within an African terrain. As insiders, we propose a harmonization of a ‘euro-afro-centric judicial system, for we believe that this would be beneficial and progressive for us as a people in quest for justice in a postcolonial Benin (African) society.


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