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NCJ Number: 67288 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: GOOD NAME IS WORTH MORE THAN MONEY - STRATEGIES OF COURT USE IN URBAN GHANA (FROM DISPUTING PROCESS - LAW IN TEN SOCIETIES, 1978, BY LAURA NADER AND HARRY F TODD, JR SEE NCJ-67284)
Author(s): M J LOWY
Corporate Author: Columbia University Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University Press
New York, NY 10025
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: MH-11211
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES IN AN URBAN AREA OF GHANA ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: KOFRIDUA, LOCATED 53 MILES NORTH OF ACCRA, GREW FROM A POPULATION OF 1,406 IN 1901 TO A POPULATION OF 40,000 CROWDED INTO ONE SQUARE MILE BY 1968. IT IS A MAJOR CENTER OF TRANSPORTATION, ADMINISTRATION, COMMERCE, AND COCOA MARKETING. KOFORIDUANS USE FOUR CATEGORIES OF REMEDY AGENTS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF DISPUTES: THE COURT, QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCIES, PRIVATE HEARINGS AT HOME, AND THE SUPERNATURAL. THE MAGISTRATE'S COURT GRADE II, ONE OF THE FOUR GOVERNMENT COURTS IN KOFORIDUA, IS EMPOWERED TO HEAR CASES INVOLVING CONTRACT, TORT, OR THE OWNERSHIP, POSSESSION, OR OCCUPATION OF LAND, WHERE THE AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM DOES NOT EXCEED $360. IT ALSO HAS JURISDICTION OVER CIVIL MATTERS BETWEEN LANDLORD AND TENANT, AS WELL AS OVER FAMILY LAW MATTERS SUCH AS DIVORCE AND SUCCESSION TO PROPERTY UNDER CUSTOMARY LAW. A GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY THAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE COURTS IS THE RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE, WHICH DEALS WITH FAMILY DISPUTES, USUALLY REGARDING MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A HUSBAND OR FATHER. HOUSEHOLD CASES (AFIESEM) ARE RECOGNIZED AS A LEGITIMATE METHOD OF SETTLEMENT IN ALL CIVIL SUITS AND IN NONFELONIOUS CRIMINAL CASES. MEDIATION AND CONSENSUS IS SOUGHT THROUGH PANEL MEMBERS WHO ARE OLDER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WITH A KNOWLEDGE OF ACCEPTED PRACTICE AND ASHANTI PROVERBS. ALTHOUGH SUPERNATURAL AGENCIES AS MEANS OF SETTLING DISPUTES ARE NOT GENERALLY POPULAR, THEY ARE STILL FREQUENTLY USED TO DETERMINE WHO WITHIN A GROUP OF SUSPECTS IS THIEF, WITCH, OR SORCERER. AGENCIES OF DISPUTE MANAGEMENT FALL ALONG A CONTINUUM FROM MOST MORAL TO LEAST MORAL AS FOLLOWS: HOUSEHOLD CASES, QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCIES, GRADE II MAGISRATES' COURT, AND SUPERNATURAL AGENTS. COMMUNITY NORMS THUS EVIDENCE A PREFERENCE FOR DISPUTE PROCEDURES THAT INVOLVE MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATION RATHER THAN FORMAL SANCTIONS AGAINST A DISPUTANT LABELED AS THE 'LOSER' OR THE 'EVIL' PARTY IN THE DISPUTE. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Administrative adjudication; Conflict resolution; Court structure; Cultural influences; Dispute processing; Dispute resolution; Ghana; Mediation; Municipal courts; Neighborhood justice centers; Social organization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67288

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