This ‘Search for Common Ground (SFCG)’ report highlights local conflict resolution using informal mechanisms in Burkina Faso. The ethnic and religious conflicts that dominate West Africa are marginal in Burkina Faso, making it a good case study for community level conflict resolution. Non-institutionalized methods of mediation — often involving community stakeholders — are discussed as well as Burkinabe people’s preference for these local practices. Unfortunately, however, like informal conflict resolution practices in other places, many of the methods used in Burkina Faso marginalize non-landowners, women, and youth. Recommendations addressing these drawbacks are included. Read full report.
The World Justice Project® (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world.
The World Justice Project engages citizens and leaders from across the globe and from multiple work disciplines to advance the rule of law. Through Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement, WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate policy reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.
The Tribal Law Journal was established in fall 1998 for the purpose of promoting indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law.
Since the Tribal Law Journal’s inception, the Tribal Law Journal has become the premier indigenous law journal in the United States and is one of the few international legal journal sources dedicated to indigenous and tribal law.
Saferworld is a not-for-profit organization with programs in nearly 20 countries and territories across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Saferworld works with local people affected by conflict to improve their safety and sense of security, and conduct wider research and analysis. They use this evidence and learning to improve local, national and international policies and practices that can help build lasting peace.
“The law in the southern oasis communities in North Africa is a law in flux. The political dynamics of the region still dictate the contours of relationships along racial lines while the Moroccan state has made strides in guaranteeing rights for all Moroccans. The fading customary traditions of the Ait ‘Atta in the qsars, and the shrinking eminence of the local Arab religious families are met with strategies of Haratin families and individuals, carving out a new direction for their futures by migrating to cities for work, sending their remittances home where family are now able to purchase property. Despite the lack of political power in their communities, the Haratin are not entirely powerless. They are able to negotiate and manipulate existing power structures – slowly subverting their historical hierarchical oppression.
This paper examines the Haratin legal system at the local level, focusing on informality and common customs found in everyday living that dictate manners and ethics, the foundation of any legal system.” Read full paper.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute in Sweden, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established on 6 May 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open source, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
The Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP) is a research consortium led by the Department of International Development (ID) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), developed in partnership with academic and media organisations from the global North and South, and with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DfID).
Between 2011-2016 the JSRP is generating primary evidence about the informal institutions that govern the lives of people in a range of fragile or war-affected locations. Their focus is on understanding the relationship between ‘official’ and ‘hybrid’ governance structures to find out what arrangements best benefit those at the receiving end of policies to support justice and security.
JSRP places what they call the intended end-user of development policies at the center of their research, analysis and approach to uptake. An end-user is, as one dictionary defines it, “the person who uses [an] application, as opposed to those who developed or support it. […] End-users do not usually have administrative responsibilities or privileges [and are] certain to have a different set of assumptions than the developers who created the application”. For JSRP’s purposes, end-users are those who ought to benefit from justice and security arrangements in their everyday lives. The term suggests that people living in difficult places are not passive recipients. They are also a heterogeneous group, likely to be in conflict with each other, and might have very different views of what justice and security entails.
Traditional & Informal Justice Systems – Peacebuilding Initiative
Though this project is inactive as of July 2009, the information remains accessible to serve as a resource for peacebuilding practitioners around the world.
Developed by HPCR International in partnership with the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office and in cooperation with the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University, the Initiative aims to enhance the work of peacebuilding practitioners and policy makers by facilitating information sharing, promoting critical discussion and building the peacebuilding community.