1 The African system of dispute settlement known as ‘palaver’ is rooted in ancient African legal and diplomatic practices. Since the 15th century, it has evolved in ways that reflect early modern commercial relationships with Europe, the era of European colonial rule in Africa, and the coexistence of modern legal systems and older traditional legal practices in today’s African nations. Across West Africa today, the term palaver—palabre in French, palavra or palava in Anglophone pidgin and creole—means ‘a discussion’, frequently with the implication of dispute or...
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