A Philosophical Inquest into the Notion of Justice in Esan Culture
Keywords:Justice, Truth, Divine justice, Punitive measures, Miscarried justice, Perverted Justice, Morality
This essay is a philosophical exposition and critique of the conception of justice in Esan tradition. The study begins with a brief analysis of the concept of justice to enable its general understanding and exposits how some thinkers have ruminated over Africans traditional justice system. The paper argues that in the Esan world-view, justice has both ontological and cosmological dimensions. The study explains these spheres as mechanisms that ensure social relations and community well-being. It argues that in the Esan traditional view, there is no distinction between justice and morality. Besides, the focus in the dispensation of justice is on truth and not on logical manipulations, hence, the administrators of justice rely on cross-examination procedures and sincere witnesses to ensure that judgements are based on facts. The study also argues that although there are occasional miscarriages of justice in the traditional Esan mode of adjudication, comparatively, this mode has the advantages of swiftness, minimal miscarriages, and recourse to divine justice, among others, over the modern court system. The paper argues that, since there are no prisons for offenders in Esan traditional judicial system, the people resort to penal measures such as fines, seizures, ostracism, banishment, drumming out, or death penalty as alternative methods of punishment. Furthermore, the study maintains that the frailties in the divine judicial process are the results of human infringements. Consequent upon this, the work questions the veracity of deities in ensuring justice; but concludes that, despite the perceived limitations, the Esan emphasis on truth (and her abhorrence of its distortion in the judicial process) makes it more advantageous than the modern court system. The study adopts the expository, conceptual and critical methods of philosophical inquiry.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Felix Airoboman; Albert Onobhayedo
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