African jurisprudence and conflict management: A critical reflection
Author(s): Amajuoritse Oritsetimeyin Ebijuwa
Abstract: In this study, I intend to argue for the existence of African jurisprudence in spite of its denigration in the literature. I contend that the hitherto impression of some Western scholars about the inferiority of African Jurisprudence has lost most of its steam. I argue that even though there are various differences between Western and African Jurisprudence in terms of the interpretations of concepts, the use of equity maxims by both legal traditions appears similar. Since African Jurisprudence is a product of its cultural context they reflect the volksgeist (spirit) of the people, which evolves through their own usages and practices. As instrument for the maintenance of social equilibrium, the study argues that African Jurisprudence emphasizes distributive justice as against formal justice associated with Western legal system for the regulation of social harmony. Employing the Igbo and Missiraya tribes’ strategies of conflict management, I buttress the practicality and showcase the possible conditions for the realization of African Jurisprudence. This paper employs the conceptual and analytic –descriptive methods to examine the use of indigenous management strategies in a manner many scholars have ignored. It is expected that this paper will initiate a perspective different from extant discourse of African jurisprudence and its efforts at conflict management.