18 July 2019 Volume :7 Issue :38

UKZN Law Professor Delivers Presentation at International Workshop in Spain

UKZN Law Professor Delivers Presentation at International Workshop in Spain
Participants of the International Institute for the Sociology of Law Workshop.

Professor David McQuoid-Mason of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies discussed the African perspective on the number of lawyers and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms during a presentation at an International Institute for the Sociology of Law Workshop - themed Too Much Litigation?: Facts, Reasons, Consequences, and Solutions - in Onati, Spain.

Presentations were also made by researchers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Russia, Israel, Singapore and South Africa. Sessions covered: (a) Defining the questions and challenging the conceptions; (b) Too much or not enough? And access to justice; (c) Means of volume control – how the courts address ‘too much litigation’; (d) Represented, unrepresented, lawyers and ADR; and (e) Comparative methods of delivering justice in different legal systems.

McQuoid-Mason’s topic during the ADR session was: Too Much Litigation? Could Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms be the Solution to Post-Colonial Developing Countries – Particularly in Africa. His paper covered: (i) the impact of the paucity of lawyers on litigation in African countries; (ii) the traditional approach to dispute resolution; (iii) traditional methods of dispute resolution; (iv) Western-based legal processes versus traditional dispute resolution processes; (v) can traditional dispute resolution mechanisms be integrated into Western-based legal processes?; and (vi) challenges when integrating traditional dispute resolution mechanisms into Western-based legal processes.

Most of the presenters from other countries were engaged in empirical research and there was a healthy exchange of ideas.

Although McQuoid-Mason relied mainly on desk top research, he included a few of the findings of some of the empirical research on dispute resolution mechanisms in Africa. As a result of the suggestions from the other researchers, McQuoid-Mason compiled a list of the empirical research questions that contemporary African researchers might want to consider in order to test the validity of many of the assumptions made by them.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied

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