Dancing on ice: critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012

Hakeem Yusuf

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In the last two and half decades, political transition from authoritarianism and conflict has been widespread in Africa. This paper is a critical reflection on the role of the Nigerian judiciary in its post-authoritarian transition from nearly three decades of military rule. The judiciary has become a strategic actor in governance across diverse and critical aspects of governance. The courts have adopted constitutional and extra constitutional principles in mediating intergovernmental contestations and human rights challenges in the turbulent transition in the country. However, the role of the courts, in light of its institutional legacy, has been as strategic as it has been problematic. This paper critically assesses challenges, limits and prospects of ‘judicial governance’ as well as the contribution of courts to policy-determination, economic development and stabilisation of the society.

Workshop

WorkshopMax Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters
CountryGermany
CityHalle
Period7/11/138/11/13

Fingerprint

Nigeria
judiciary
governance
authoritarianism
stabilization
human rights
Military
economics
Society

Keywords

  • transitional justice
  • courts
  • politics
  • corruption
  • Nigeria
  • rule of law
  • post-authoritarian transition

Cite this

Yusuf, H. (2013). Dancing on ice: critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012. Paper presented at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Halle, Germany.
Yusuf, Hakeem. / Dancing on ice : critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012. Paper presented at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Halle, Germany.
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Yusuf, H 2013, 'Dancing on ice: critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012' Paper presented at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Halle, Germany, 7/11/13 - 8/11/13, .

Dancing on ice : critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012. / Yusuf, Hakeem.

2013. Paper presented at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Halle, Germany.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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N2 - In the last two and half decades, political transition from authoritarianism and conflict has been widespread in Africa. This paper is a critical reflection on the role of the Nigerian judiciary in its post-authoritarian transition from nearly three decades of military rule. The judiciary has become a strategic actor in governance across diverse and critical aspects of governance. The courts have adopted constitutional and extra constitutional principles in mediating intergovernmental contestations and human rights challenges in the turbulent transition in the country. However, the role of the courts, in light of its institutional legacy, has been as strategic as it has been problematic. This paper critically assesses challenges, limits and prospects of ‘judicial governance’ as well as the contribution of courts to policy-determination, economic development and stabilisation of the society.

AB - In the last two and half decades, political transition from authoritarianism and conflict has been widespread in Africa. This paper is a critical reflection on the role of the Nigerian judiciary in its post-authoritarian transition from nearly three decades of military rule. The judiciary has become a strategic actor in governance across diverse and critical aspects of governance. The courts have adopted constitutional and extra constitutional principles in mediating intergovernmental contestations and human rights challenges in the turbulent transition in the country. However, the role of the courts, in light of its institutional legacy, has been as strategic as it has been problematic. This paper critically assesses challenges, limits and prospects of ‘judicial governance’ as well as the contribution of courts to policy-determination, economic development and stabilisation of the society.

KW - transitional justice

KW - courts

KW - politics

KW - corruption

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Yusuf H. Dancing on ice: critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012. 2013. Paper presented at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Halle, Germany.