The suitability of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in adjudicating criminal matters in Kenya

Njoroge, Wairimu Jacqueline
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Strathmore University
The existence of ethnic groups in a society results in the employment of justice systems that are uniquely designed to fit the culture of such a people. These systems tend to be informal in nature as they apply only to the people in that ethnic grouping.In most cases, they exist within an already acknowledged formal justice system. One that is structurally, procedurally and substantively different. However, the two systems are similar but not identical. Similar because they purpose to achieve justice within a transparent system, but not identical because they employ different techniques in order to achieve that justice.This paper examines the position of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms (TDRMs) in the context of criminal matters following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. The paper argues that although the traditional systems are lacking in some regards, they act as a complementary tool to the formal justice system.By interrogating the traditional justice systems m other states, the paper demonstrates that traditional dispute resolution mechanisms are ideal for adjudicating criminal matters in Kenya.This is against the background of the backlog of cases in the courts as well as the procedural technicalities that have rendered the formal criminal justice system to some extent ineffective.The paper suggests that the role of the State is important in order to create a complementary cord between the formal and the traditional systems. The ways in which the State can effectuate this are explained in the paper. This is removed from the situation of traditional systems coupled with the success of other systems implemented in the world .
A research paper submitted in partial fulfillment of theBachelor of Laws degree