Throughout Africa, the institutions of state justice are struggling to overcome problems of overload and delay, perceptions of corruption and popular distrust. Current policy prescriptions to improve access to justice are dominated by the belief that non-state, customary or informal ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR) systems provide the best solutions.
New research by Africa Power and Politics (APPP) in Ghana, led by Professor Richard Crook in collaboration with Kojo Pumpuni Asante and Victor Brobbey at the Center for Democratic Development, Accra, challenges this. Findings from their extensive programme of field research in Ghana suggest that the state can and does provide ADR-type accessible justice at local level that aligns with popular beliefs and expectations.
In a new APPP policy brief, 'The state and accessible justice in Africa: is Ghana unique?', Richard Crook considers what lessons may be learned from Ghana in developing policies to promote more accessible justice in Africa.
Crook, R. APPP Policy Brief 3. The state and accessible justice in Africa: is Ghana unique? Africa Power and Politics, Overseas Development Institute, London, UK (2011) 4 pp.