Integrating Alternative Dispute Resolution into South African Criminal Jurisprudence: An Urgent Need for Law Reforms
This article argues for the inclusion of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) into the criminal justice administration of South Africa, which will ultimately result in the comprehensive legal transformation of the country’s justice system. Non-traditional dispute resolution processes, which fall within the context of ADR, are globally accepted and have been implemented in different dispute contestations. The argument whether ADR should be applied in a criminal justice context, poses normative questions concerning the function of the justice system, and sociological questions concerning the nature of criminals and crimes. Crime rates in South Africa are high and the criminal justice system may be unable to cope with the floodgates of formal litigation. In this context the article argues for the integration of ADR into the South African criminal justice system. Two major research problems are addressed through reviewing existing literature and doing desktop research. The first aspect concerns the integration of ADR into the South African criminal justice system with a view to effecting law reforms. Second, the question regarding the roles of traditional rulers in resolving criminal disputes is explored. The conclusions reached relate to the need for law reformation in South Africa, particularly in respect of the integration of ADR into criminal jurisprudence, in order to become aligned with other jurisdictions the world over.