Short abstracts of the presentations were submitted by many of the speakers in advance of the conference. The titles of those that were submitted are underlined; to view those abstracts, click on the title.

Title: Integration Of Restorative Justice In Nigeria Criminal Justice System: Prospects And Challenges

Lead Presenter: Adetokunbo Olorire Alase


  1. Aderonke Anne Agbaje

Session Abstract: Topic: Integration of Restorative Justice in Nigeria Criminal Justice System: Prospects and Challenges The Nigeria criminal justice system has over the years encouraged infringement to right of personal liberty has enshrined in the constitution. This is evident in detention and subsequent imprisonment of some accused persons without trials whilst some experience delay due to shallow and inchoate investigation by the office of Direction of Public Prosecution. Restorative Justice (herein after referred to as RJ) remains an illusion and an impossibility to the government and people of Nigeria. The traditional punishment and sentencing doctrine has remained the Rules in our Criminal Procedure enactments, a mistake, barrier and gap my research will correct and fill through the subsequent integration of RJ in our laws. It is sacrosanct that new frontiers must evolve in Nigeria criminal justice system that will focus on developing productive ways which engages the energy in conflict to generate sustainable outcomes and effective relationships. RJ on the one hand can address conflict and create safe places for people to engage in the difficult dialogues needed to move through seemingly intractable differences, and on the other hand encourage indigenous-community justice level in several countries to develop community based processes as an integral part of enhancing community wellbeing and safety. The essence of punishment in a criminal trial is mainly to subject the accused to some form of deprivation in as much the same way as it will also satisfy the aspiration of the complainant. But it seems plain to say that all too often, a punishment is imposed because it is the traditional one for that type of offence and some busy judges and magistrates do not see the need for a conscious and deliberate thought about the philosophy and practice of punishment when handing down their sentences. Consequently, the society is happy with the sentence seeing their criminals locked up and they can sleep safely at night. They can work down the streets and take their children to the park and not worry about what might happen if they come across one of the prisoners in their day to day lives. We fail to recall criminal biology on examination of causes that may be found in the mental and physical constitution of an offender and the other side of criminology which is ‘treatment of offenders’. This paper fathoms restorative justice and its practices as a leeway in a democratic experience to achieve justice by direct participation, dialogue and engagement. Specifically, how formal and community based organisations implement RJ principles, and the intersection of restorative justice, healing (mental health), culture, freedom and participation. This paper posits restorative justice as a new innovation, a shift and change which makes community safety a priority in criminal justice education. It recommends steps for integration and sustenance of restorative justice in Nigeria and possible challenges. Due to the nature of the subject matter, role play will be employed using different case scenarios for better understanding. Feedback from delegates from developed countries will be appreciated, analysed and evaluated as policy framework. Keywords: Restorative justice, punishment, healing, recidivism, plea bargaining

Session Material:


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