Access to justice: An evaluation of the informal justice systems

Authors

  • Jawad Ahmad Institute for Economic Law, University of Kassel, Kassel, Hessen, Germany.
  • Georg Von Wangenheim Institute for Economic Law, University of Kassel, Kassel, Hessen, Germany. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0354-791X

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/5.1.16

Keywords:

informal justice system, panchayats, jirga, customs, culture, conflict management, arbitration, reconciliation, peace, dispute resolution

Abstract

The judicial system of any state can be divided as formal and informal, where the formal is under the state (official) and informal may or may not be under the domain of the state (informal justice system). Since both systems provide access to justice, however, the informal system is viewed as a threat to formal justice system. In this context we need to better understand the role played by informal justices system. We have focused on three fundamental issues, first to evaluate the role of the alternate and informal justice system to improve access to justice. Second, we listed weaknesses in informal justice systems that gives us an insight into our third goal of suggesting a framework for engaging informal justice system and improved on its shortcomings which can be helpful in supporting or reducing the burden on the formal system. Because of the absence of relevant literature, we resorted to empirical reports and case studies on other developing countries’ to present our arguments. We showed that informal system is playing a positive role in the society and there is a need to reform the system especially for its negative traits, e.g., human rights.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

Alam, F., Ahmad, S., & Bano, A. (2020). Jirga and Dispensation of Social Welfare Services: A Case Study of Mohmand Tribal District, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 4(1), 231-241. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/4.1.20 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/4.1.20

Andhini, N. F. (2010). Doing Business 2010 (Doing Business). The World Bank. http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/book/10.1596/978-0-8213-7961-5

Barfield, T. (2006). Informal Dispute Resolution and the Formal Legal System in Contemporary Northern Afghanistan Thomas Barfield.

Baras, A. (2004). The mechanics of honor in Pakistan. Asian Human Rights Commission, 3(5), 2.

Bhatti, H. (2019, March 6). Mukhtar Mai rape case: SC adjourns review petition after suspects show up without legal counsel. Dawn. https://www.dawn.com/news/1467962

Chirayath, L., Sage, C., & Woolcock, M. (2005). Customary Law and Policy Reform: Engaging with the Plurality of Justice Systems. Background Paper for the World Development Report, 1–31. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9075

Corey, A., & Joireman, S. F. (2004). Retributive justice: The Gacaca courts in Rwanda. African Affairs, 103(410), 73–89. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adh007

Dalgleish, D. (2005). Pre-colonial criminal justice in West Africa: Eurocentric thought versus Africentric evidence. African Journal of Criminology & Justice Studies, 1(1), 55-69. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.576.4708&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Esfahani, H. S., & Ramirez, M. T. (2003). Institutions, infrastructure, and economic growth. Journal of Development Economics, 70(2), 443–477. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3878(02)00105-0

Faundez, J. (2006). Should Justice Reform Projects Take Non-State Justice Systems Seriously? Perspectives from Latin America. In The World Bank Legal Review: Law, Equity, and Development 2, 113-140.

Fisher, T. (2017). Law and Economics of Alternative Dispute Resolution. In F. Parisi (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Volume 3: Public Law and Legal Institutions 1, 337–350. Oxford University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199684250.013.008

Goff, D. (2016, December). "Working with Informal Justice: Key considerations for confident engagement." Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law, La Haye.

Golub, S. (2003). Non-state justice systems in Bangladesh and the Philippines. United Kingdom Department of International Development. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTJUSFORPOOR/Resources/GolubNonStateJusticeSystems.pdf

Idris, I. (2007). Alternative Dispute Resolution?: The Informal Justice Sector in Pakistan. LEAD Pakistan. http://www.lead.org.pk/lead/Publications/21-%20ALTERNATIVE%20DISPUTE%20RESOLUTION%20The%20Informal%20Justice%20Sector%20in%20Pakistan.pdf

Inam, U., Nawaz, A., & Andama, G. (2020). Colonization and Decolonization of the Indian Subcontinent; A Colonial Discourse Discourse Analysis of A God in Every Stone. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 4(1), 282–292. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/4.1.24 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/4.1.24

Amnesty International. (2002, July). Pakistan: The tribal justice system. Amnesty International Report. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/ASA33/024/2002/en/

Kirmani, N. (2000). Women's Rights as Human Rights: The Case of Pakistan. Senior Thesis Projects, 1993-2002, 47. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_interstp2/47

Kötter, M. (2015). Non-State Justice Institutions: A Matter of Fact and a Matter of Legislation. Non-State Justice Institutions and the Law, 155–187. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137403285_7

Kunesh, P. H. (2007). Banishment as Cultural Justice in Contemporary Tribal legal Systems. New Mexico Law Review, 37(1), 85–145. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1080047

LeSage, A. (2005). Stateless Justice in Somalia: Formal and Informal Rule of Law Initiatives.

Mack, N., Woodsong, C., Kathleen, M., Greg, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative Research Methods: A data Collector’s Field Guide. Family Health International 36(10). https://www.fhi360.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/Qualitative Research Methods - A Data Collector’s Field Guide.pdf

Mahmood, A. S. (1994). Sardari, jirga & local government systems in Balochistan. Edara-e-Tadrees.

Mahmood, A., Ullah, S., & Ashfaq, S. (2018). The Evolution of Jirga System: A Conflict Resolution Mechanism in FATA. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal, 2(1), 21–28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/2.1.3

Nyamu-Musembi, C. (2003). Review of experience in engaging with ‘non-state’ justice systems in East Africa. In: Commissioned by Governance Division, DFID (UK).

Okafo, N. (2016). Reconstructing Law and Justice in a Postcolony (First). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315604022

Rajan, N. B. and A. (2003). Private Concerns in Public Discourse: Women-Initiated Community Responses to Domestic Violence. Economic and Political Weekly, 38(17), 1658–1664.

Rathore, M. A. (2015). Women ’ s Rights in Pakistan?: The Zina Ordinance & the Need for Reform (No. 38).

Rautenbach, C. (2012). South Africa: Recognition of traditional courts - loose ties between two judicial systems. Decision Making on Pluralist Normative Ground: On the Governance of Disparate Traditional, Religious and Statutory Laws in Pluralist Societies.

Rehman. I. A. (2002, August). Dark Justice. Newsline. https://newslinemagazine.com/magazine/dark-justice/

Roberts, D. (2004). Justice for the poor program: research paper on community access to justice and village judicial autonomy: second interim report. In agris.fao.org. http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US2012413181

Republic of South Africa. (2017). Select Committees Amendments to Traditional Courts Bill. Parliamentary Monitoring Group. https://pmg.org.za/bill/680/?via=homepage-card

Saltman, J. (1979). Housing Discrimination: Policy Research, Methods and Results. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 441(1), 186–196. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/000271627944100114

Sander, F. E. A. (1985). Alternative methods of dispute resolution: An overview. University of Florida Law Review, 37. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/uflr37&div=9&id=&page=

Schärf, W. (2003). Non-State Justice Systems in Southern Africa?: How should Governments Respond?? (Working with Non-State Justice Systems).

Schärf, W., Banda, C., Röntsch, R., Kaunda, D., & Shapiro, R. (2002). Access to Justice for the Poor of Malawi? An Appraisal of Access to Justice Provided to the Poor of Malawi by the Lower Courts and the Customary Justice Forums.

Shinwari, N. A. (2015). Understanding the Informal Justice System: Opportunities and Possibilities for Legal Pluralism in Pakistan. http://www.camp.org.pk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UnderstandingtheInformalJusticeSystem.pdf

Solaas, I. M. (2009). Traditional justice in East Taimor: A Case Study of Justice versus Reconcilitation and its Consequences. Master’s Thesis in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Oslo. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/30799852.pdf

Stephens, M. (n.d.). Typologies, Risks and Benefits of Interaction Between State and Non-State Justice Systems. Conference Packet for the United States Institute of Peace, George Washington University and World Bank Conference on Customary Justice and Legal Pluralism in Post-Conflict and Fragile Societies.

Stone, K. V. W. (2004). Alternative Dispute Resolution (No. 04–30; Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series). https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=631346

Latigo, J. O. (2008) Northern Uganda: tradition-based practices in the Acholi region. In: Huyse L, Salter M (eds) Traditional justice and reconciliation after violent conflict: learning from African experiences. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Stockholm.

Lyengar, S. (2007). The Interface between formal and informal systems of justice: a study of Nari Adalats and caste Panchayats in Gujarat state, India. UNDP, Towards Inclusive Governance: Prompting the Participation of Disadvataged Groups in Asia-Pacific, 103.

Swenson, G. (2016). Understanding and engaging informal justice. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/1189/

Thorne, K. (2005). Rule of Law through imperfect bodies? The informal justice systems of Burundi and Somalia. Peace and Justice Conference. http://dspace.cigilibrary.org/jspui/handle/123456789/30866

Ullah, J., & Bano, A. (2020). Militancy and Pashtun Culture?: Challenges and Developments in Pashtun Society in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , Pakistan. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal, 3(2), 115-127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/3.2.14

Ullah, R. (2018). Socio-Cultural and Economic Factors Affecting Women Political Participation in Dir District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Women - Annual Research Journal of Gender Studies, 10(10), 26–41.

UNDP. (2004). Access to justice. Practice note.

UN Secretary General. (2004). The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies: report of the Secretary-General. United Nations Digital Library. https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/527647?ln=en

Vile, M. J. (1967). The Seperation of Powers. In J. R. Greene, J. P. and Pole (Ed.), A Companion to the American Revolution (2008) (p. 796). John Wiley & Sons..

Waheed, A., Nadeem, A., & Khurram, A. J. (2009). Proceedings 2. Second CBRC, 1–8.

Wojkowska, E. (2006). Doing Justice: How informal justice systems can contribute. Oslo, United Nations, December. http://ru.unrol.org/files/UNDP DoingJusticeEwaWojkowska130307.pdf%5Cnhttp://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLAWJUSTINST/Resources/EwaWojkowska.pdf

World Justice Project. (n.d). World Justice Project Factor 9. https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/wjp-rule-law-index/wjp-rule-law-index-2017%E2%80%932018/factors-rule-law/informal-justice-factor-9

Woolford, A., & Ratner, R. S. (2008). Informal reckonings: Conflict resolution in mediation, restorative justice, and reparations. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203938737

Zafar, I. (n.d.). The Implementation Strategy for Successful Functioning of Musalihat Anjuman.

Published

2021-06-04

How to Cite

Ahmad, J., & Wangenheim, G. V. (2021). Access to justice: An evaluation of the informal justice systems. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 5(1), 228–244. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/5.1.16