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Traditional / Customary Justice

Legal Empowerment of the Poor: Innovating Access to Justice

Maaike de Langen, Maurits Barendrecht,

In this essay, we begin with some general observations on the state of access to justice. Because access to justice is hard to measure and data on such access are scarce, we give a description of the barriers to justice and mechanisms of exclusion and analyze how these work out for the poor in developing…

Access to What? Legal Agency and Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

Daniel M. Brinks,

This resource is from the The Journal of Development Studies, 2019 Vol. 55, No. 3, 348–365. In this paper I issue a call for a primary focus on expanding and strengthening alternative, community-based justice systems, as a strategy for securing the full benefits of legal agency to indigenous and other culturally distinct groups. I do so…

Chapter: Involving Government Officials in the Community Land Protection Process


A chapter from the Guide that explains the importance of involving government officials in community land protection efforts and includes recommendations about how to effectively engage government stakeholders.

Structures and Strategems: Making Decentralization of Authority over Land in Africa Cost-Effective

John W. Bruce, Anna Knox,

Community-led land tenure reform requires specification of ‘‘the community,” and this raises long-standing issues concerning the balance between civil and traditional local authorities in Africa. Recent experience with decentralization of authority over land suggests that the cost of creating new local land administration capacities is high. A less costly option is reliance at least in part…

Engaging with Customary Justice Systems

Erica Harper, International Development Law Organization (IDLO),

The following article provides insight into the discourse related to customary justice systems and the role they should play in the programming of national governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations operating in developing, post-conflict, post-natural disaster contexts. This International Development Law Organization-sponsored working paper takes into account policy and donor imperatives, the extent to which engagement…

El Acceso a la Justicia en América Latina: Retos y Desafíos

Helen Ahrens, Francisco Rojas Aravena, Juan Carlos Sainz Borgo,

Los diálogos, análisis y debates en torno al acceso a la justicia, desarrollados por la Universidad para la Paz en asociación con el proyecto “Derecho Internacional Regional y Acceso a la Justicia en América Latina” (Programa DIRAJus), promovido por la Agencia de Cooperación Alemana (GIZ), han posibilitado el reconocer avances y dificultades en esta materia. El resultado que…

El derecho en América Latina. Un mapa para el pensamiento jurídico del siglo XXI

Cesar Rodríguez Garavito (Coord.),

Este libro ofrece una muestra especial del gran cambio experimentado por la refl exión sobre el derecho latinoamericano en las últimas dos décadas. Reúne a una generación de juristas que imaginó, primero, y ayudó a motorizar, luego, importantes avances sociales e institucionales en sus respectivos países y en la región. Los escritos muestran a un…

Chapter: Preserving and Revitalizing Culture


A chapter from the Guide that discusses how culture is central to community land protection and strategies for integrating culture into programming.

Chapter: Working with Community Leaders


A chapter from the Guide that discusses the importance of working closely with local leadership during community land protection efforts, and strategies to do so effectively.

Chapter: Ensuring the Participation of Women and Minority Groups


A chapter from the Guide that emphasizes the critical importance of the participation of women and minority groups and shares practical tips to ensure their voices are heard.

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…