Legal pluralism

Safety, security and justice

The newly modernised Correctional Services of Solomon Islands

Safety, security and justice are priorities for poor people and are associated with development outcomes. What do we know about what has – or hasn't – worked in safety, security and justice programming, and where? This updated Topic Guide for policymakers and practitioners synthesises the evidence, challenges and approaches that emerge from the literature. ...» more

Justice mechanisms and conflict dynamics in Nepal: Local perceptions and impacts

Pandey, A. et al.

Nepal is an ethnically and geographically diverse nation, where people rely on a wide range of formal and informal justice systems to resolve their disputes. This report explores community-level perceptions of these mechanisms, the current situation of access to justice among different community/ethnic groups, and the linkage between access to justice issues and local conflict ...» more

Courts, clans and companies: Mobile money and dispute resolution in Somaliland

Nicole Stremlau and Ridwan Osman

Mobile money has thrived in Somaliland, providing access to storing money in e-wallets and the ability to pay for goods and services in a largely cashless economy. Its widespread adoption raises a number of social and legal questions, particularly around handling disputes. How are these disputes resolved, by which entities and according to which laws or regulations? Why are ...» more

Social accountability in war zones – confronting local realities of law and justice

Anna Macdonald and Tim Allen

How are justice and social order administered and experienced in poor, politically fragile and conflict-affected environments? This paper argues that international policies on expanding access to justice or promoting rule of law are devised and implemented on the basis of norms and assumptions rather than on evidence and careful analysis. The development and framing of policy ...» more

Policy approaches and lessons from working with non-state actors in security and justice

DFID has a rule of law policy approach. Programming decisions are made by a context-based, problem solving approach and therefore the policy does not identify overarching actors or themes for engagement. Is one of few donors to have published a briefing (DFID, 2004) entirely focussed on engaging with non-state security and justice actors. Engaging with non-state actors is also ...» more

Beyond dichotomy: recognising and reconciling legal pluralism in Mali.

Erwin van Veen, Diana Goff and Thibault Van Damme

The 2012 conflict in Mali highlighted the urgent need to address a broader crisis of governance  - a defective provision of justice. This report examines how the provision of justice in Mali could  form a key part of a broad-based strategy to help the country regain the status of emerging democracy which had won it so much praise before 2012. It argues that better justice ...» more

Access to Justice and Legal Pluralism in Fragile States: The Case of Women’s Rights

Tanja Chopra, Deborah Isser

There has been a growing trend of interest in informal justice systems, primarily based on the idea that they are more accessible and supported by local communities. However, due to a lack of guidance and best practices on how to engage informal justice systems, many practitioners operate under the assumption that its advantages outweigh any failure to comply with human rights ...» more

A Political Analysis of Legal Pluralism in Bolivia and Colombia

D Van Cott

What has been the experience of implementing legal pluralism - the simultaneous existence of distinct normative systems within a single territory – in Latin America? What are the most important factors affecting the practical realisation of legal pluralism? This paper from the University of Tennessee compares recent efforts in Bolivia and Colombia to implement new ...» more

Legal Pluralism and the Search for Justice

G Woodman

What is legal pluralism? How did different types of legal pluralism develop African states? Can state law co-exist with customary law? The search for justice in states where legal pluralism exists raises debates on the principle patterns of legal ordering. The introduction of Western legal systems in African countries resulted in different social normative systems existing side ...» more