Dispensation of Justice
: Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) as a Case Study in Nigeria

  • Chinweifenu Umegbolu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process has been going through phases of advancement worldwide from the late ’60s to date. This is particularly characteristic of advanced world countries. Within Africa, the concept of ADR is gaining immense popularity and significance. Nigeria is the given context; reference will be made to the introduction of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) in 2002. The LMDC scheme was conceived to offer alternative dispute resolution methods for resolving commercial disputes within the society. The scheme is currently incorporated as part of the justice system. Since it was enacted into law, its relevance has developed due to its unique way of linking cases to appropriate forums for appropriate settlements - the Multi-Door Courthouse. Hence, a considerable literature has grown up around its establishment; one of such literature was on the scheme’s effectiveness, which relied highly on the stakeholder’s perception and experience, which was carried out in 2012.

However, this last decade has seen a growing trend towards ADR in Nigeria. The need to further explore on a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) and for the first time its impact on Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse (ESMDC) practice- hearing from both the stakeholders and for the first time since its inception the user’s perception and experiences is evident. What is the story so far? Has the courthouse been able to contribute or reduce the pitfalls associated with litigation in both states?

The thesis provides a detailed analysis on the above subject matter by interviewing the stakeholders of the Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC) and facilitating for the first time a focus group discussion with disputants who have used the Courthouse. Further, the thesis, in line with socio-legal research, will utilise a range of methods. This will include a mixed-methods approach for data gathering and analysis. This thesis presents in-depth findings and recommendations from the research. The findings show that there are occasions where ADRMDC is best suited for settlement of a dispute, especially considering the cost implications. It concludes with recommendations on features that can expedite, smoother and effective dispute resolution or management with the MDC scheme.
Date of AwardJun 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorAdaeze Okoye (Supervisor) & Claire-Michelle Smyth (Supervisor)


  • ADR
  • Nigeria Courts
  • Multi-Door Courthouse

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