Transitional justice, judicial accountability and the rule of law- a Nigerian case study

Yusuf, Hakeem Olayinka (2009) Transitional justice, judicial accountability and the rule of law- a Nigerian case study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study investigates accountability of the judiciary for its role in authoritarianism as an integral part of accountability in transitions. It argues this is an important but relatively neglected aspect of transitional justice theory and state practice. The thesis of the research is that the judicial institution, as the third branch of government ought to be held accountable for its role in past governance in transitional societies. This is particularly important to obtain comprehensive accountability. It is also relevant to the crucial task of institutional transformation which is a key objective of transitional justice.
The paucity of critical perspectives on the role of the judiciary during a society’s troubled period would appear to be because of the view that it lacks a distinct role in governance. This suggests that the judicial function was inconsequential or judicial outcomes were invariably imposed. In view of the acknowledged important role of the judiciary in both liberal and democratising polities all over the world, it is argued that the purview of transitional justice mechanisms should, as a matter of policy, be extended to scrutiny of the judicial role in the past.
There is the need to publicly scrutinise the course of judicial governance in post-authoritarian societies as a cardinal measure of institutional transformation. Following on the recognition that the judiciary in post-authoritarian contexts will be faced with enormous challenges of dispute resolution, restoration of the rule of law, as well as a key role in policy determination and governance, its institutional transformation following a period of siege is critical to the survival of democracy and the rule of law.
The mechanism of choice identified in this research for scrutiny of the judicial function in transitional societies is the truth commission. The research proposes extending the purview of truth-telling processes as a measure of public accountability to the judiciary in post-authoritarian contexts. The research adopts a comparative perspective but to contextualise the argument, it focuses specifically on judicial governance and accountability for the past in Nigeria’s transition to democracy after three decades of authoritarian rule.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Transitional Justice, Judicial Accountability, Rule of Law, Judicialisation of Politics, Constitutionalism, Africa, Legal and Political Theory
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Veitch, Prof. Scott and Murdoch, Prof. Jim
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Mr Hakeem O Yusuf
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-545
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:19

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