Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, plea bargain and criminal justice system in Nigeria
Conflicts, disputes, disagreements, problems and issues are inevitable in human affairs. Most of these disputes and problems in some circumstances give rise to offences for which a criminal prosecution becomes necessary. One can say that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is used all round the world to resolve disputes even before formal procedures for resolving disputes came to be. It is noteworthy to say that all through human history, disputes have always arisen and most were resolved without resort to court. The way our criminal justice system is designed, criminal trials do last long. This will of necessity be compared with the saying that justice delayed is justice denied. In some cases, after spending many years in detention while undergoing trial, the defendant is eventually discharged and he gets no compensation from the authorities for such wastage. This study examines these issues by first and foremost discussing the nature of ADR. The paper sees plea bargain as an instance of ADR and appraises its adoption into Nigerian criminal justice system in order to curb delay.
Keywords: ADR, Criminal Justice System, Litigation, Disputes, Resolution, Trial