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Unisa online - The Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa


Prof John Faris (Head: Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa)

The Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa (IDRA) and the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor will host a seminar in commemoration of the late Prof Dani Wadada Nabudere on 11 June 2012 under the theme “Afrikology as a philosophical and epistemological foundation for dispute resolution”.

About the IDRA

The IDRA was officially established on 1 November 2010.  The core function of the IDRA is research and community engagement with the focus on dispute processing and resolution in Africa. The institute falls under Unisa’s College of Law, is located at the Sunnyside Campus and is headed by Prof John Faris.

The IDRA approach to research and community engagement

In the field of dispute processing and dispute resolution, it is essential that

  • practice should be based on solid research and that research should respond to practice.
  • research should develop a sound body of literature that will eventually express paradigms of dispute processing and dispute resolution that are unique to Africa and thereby replace reliance on or adapt Western epistemologies in this regard.
  • a multi-inter-trans-disciplinary (MIT) approach to research should be followed to involve academics across all disciplines that deal with the theory and practice of dispute processing and dispute resolution.
  • IDRA’s research and community engagement programmes should have a broad and all-inclusive outreach.

Consequently IDRA identified the need for research on a new way of dispute resolution that is applicable to the African context. They envisage a new form of dispute resolution departing from the philosophy of non-dualism and the cosmology of Ubuntu as a set of meta-norms for relationship building and dispute resolution in the African context. The purpose of all research will be to design practical solutions for dispute resolution in an African context.

Click here for the English version of the IDRA vision statement.
Click here
for the Zulu version of the IDRA vision statement.
Click here
for the Afrikaans version of the IDRA vision statement.



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