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Back to the Past: The (Re)Integration of Restorative Justice into the Nigerian Criminal Justice System

OLAYODE, ADENIYI,OLAYEMI (2017) Back to the Past: The (Re)Integration of Restorative Justice into the Nigerian Criminal Justice System. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Recently in Nigeria, calls have been made from stakeholders in the criminal justice system for change, with particular focus on reforms in the methods via which offenders are punished and rehabilitated. These calls have been made, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, the current sanctions in place, the most popular being the curtailment of the liberty of offenders via imprisonment, has failed to deter convicted and prospective offenders. This has contributed to high crime rates with recidivism recorded in high numbers. Secondly, the system fails to address the damages suffered by victims and the community at large. Therefore, there is a need to reform the current penal system so that it not only ensures that appropriate sanctions are issued, but also encourages participation by victims and the community in resolving issues arising from the crime.
One possible avenue for reform that this thesis considers is a concept known as Restorative Justice (RJ). This is because of the perceived similarities between RJ and pre-colonial restorative practices in Nigeria. Before the arrival of the British colonialists in the 19th century, the main objective of the pre-colonial justice systems was to restore social safety with little or no recourse to the use of extreme punishments like imprisonment or the death penalty. This thesis examines the aforementioned pre-colonial justice systems as well as the circumstances that led to their substitution with the British colonial justice system, including the use of imprisonment as the primary method of punishment. It proceeds to analyse the RJ concept and establishes that it does share similar principles and history with its pre-colonial counterpart and can therefore act as a 21st century alternative. Based on these findings, this thesis argues for the integration of RJ into the Nigerian Criminal Justice system, including its penal system and concludes with recommendations for its implementation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Nigerian Criminal Justice System, Pre-Colonial Justice Practices, Restorative Justice, History of Restorative Justice, Restorative Justice Models, Sentencing and Punishment, Penal Systems and Policy, Alternative Responses to Crime, Prisoners' Rehabilitation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Feb 2017 12:10

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