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

Yusuf, Hakeem (2013) Dancing on ice : critical reflections on the role of the courts in Nigeria's political transition, 1999-2012. In: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Workshop. Negotiating Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, 2013-11-07 - 2013-11-08. (Unpublished)

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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.