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Local justice in southern Sudan

Author: Cherry Leonardi; United States Institute of Peace.; Rift Valley Institute.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : U.S. Institute of Peace, ©2010.
Series: Peaceworks, no. 66.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This report analyzes the current justice system in Southern Sudan, focusing on the relationship between customary chiefs' courts and government courts and the ways that litigants navigate both types of courts in practice. Based on extensive interviews with litigants, chiefs, and court officials, the report argues that the line between chiefs' and government courts is blurred and that litigants prize the system's  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Cherry Leonardi; United States Institute of Peace.; Rift Valley Institute.
OCLC Number: 669049623
Notes: Title from title screen (viewed on Oct. 7, 2010).
"October 2010"--Page [1].
"A joint project of: United States Institute of Peace, Rift Valley Institute"--Cover.
Description: 1 online resource (94 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: Introduction. Project context --
Project objectives and methodology --
Research sites --
Research findings. Courts, chiefs, and customary law --
Step by step : the processes and culture of dispute resolution --
Local perceptions of the justice system --
Choices of forum --
Alternative sources of resolution and mediation --
Areas of concern or conflict --
Implications and recommendations. The current status of local justice --
The question of recording customary law --
Criminal justice --
Human rights and local justice --
Priorities for reform --
Conclusion.
Series Title: Peaceworks, no. 66.
Responsibility: Cherry Leonardi [and others].

Abstract:

This report analyzes the current justice system in Southern Sudan, focusing on the relationship between customary chiefs' courts and government courts and the ways that litigants navigate both types of courts in practice. Based on extensive interviews with litigants, chiefs, and court officials, the report argues that the line between chiefs' and government courts is blurred and that litigants prize the system's hybridity and flexibility, as they often seek restorative and consensual dispute resolution over retribution. The report's analysis suggests that current justice reform efforts, aiming at stricter jurisdictional limitations and the ascertainment of customary law, may reduce litigants' abilities to achieve the justice they want, undermine fairness, and exacerbate local conflict. Interventions should keep the current system's flexibility intact and focus on long-term education and information efforts. Where such knowledge resources are available, there is evidence that individual litigants deploy them in their disputes and cases, contributing to the gradual processes of change that the flexibility of local justice engenders.

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