Informal Dispute Resolution

Overview

Dispute resolution that occurs outside of the state courts and applies custom and tradition goes by several names. It is referred to as “customary dispute resolution,” “community based dispute resolution,” and “informal dispute resolution,” to name just a few. All are acceptable.

This section uses the latter term because it is broader. Customary dispute resolution implies the application of custom and tradition through processes grounded in custom and tradition. Community-based dispute resolution implies a process involving a reasonable representation of stakeholder interests. This section includes articles that discuss both, but also includes processes that mix custom with the new state legal system and are thus not entirely customary and not necessarily community-based.

For additional articles discussing customary law, see Afghan Legal History, in General, and Customary Law in Afghanistan.



Thomas J. Barfield, Informal Dispute Resolution and the Formal Legal System in Contemporary Northern Afghanistan (United States Institute of Peace, Draft Report, Apr. 21, 2006), available at usip.org.

Thomas J. Barfield, Neamat Nojumi & J. Alexander Thier, The Clash of Two Goods: State and Non-State Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan United States Institute of Peace (2006), available at usip.org.

Noah Coburn and John Dempsey, Informal Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace: Special Report 247 (2010), available at usip.org.

Noah Coburn, The Politics of Dispute Resolution and Continued Instability in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace: Special Report 285 (2011), available at usip.org.

John Dempsey and Noah Coburn, Traditional Dispute Resolution and Stability in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace: Peace Brief 10 (2010), available at usip.org.

Kate Fearon, Proximity, Pragmatism and Pashtunwali – Informal Justice at District Level in Helmand Province (2010), available at stabilisationunit.gov.uk.

Rebecca Gang, Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Balkh Province, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Case Study Series (2010), available at areu.org.af.

Rebecca Gang, Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Kabul City, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Case Study Series (2011), available at areu.org.af.

Christina Jones-Pauly & Neamat Nojumi, Balancing Relations Between Society and State: Legal Steps Toward National Reconciliation and Reconstruction of Afghanistan, 52 Am. J. Comp. L. 825 (2004), available at usip.org.

The Liaison Office, An Evaluation of the Khost Commission on Conflict Mediation (2009), available at tlo-afghanistan.org.

The Liaison Office, Linkages Between State and Non-State Justice Systems in Eastern Afghanistan (2009), available at tlo-afghanistan.org.

The Liaison Office, Between the Jirga and the Judge The Liaison Office Program Brief 1 (2009), available at tlo-afghanistan.org.

Sarah Lister, Understanding State-Building and Local Government in Afghanistan (Crisis States Research Centre, Working Paper No. 14, May 2007), available at lse.ac.uk.

Christine Noelle-Karimi, Local Perceptions of State and Law, in State Reconstruction and International Engagement in Afghanistan (2003), available at lse.ac.uk.

René El Saman, Linking Formal and Informal Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Afghanistan (Sanayee Development Organization, Aug. 2008), available at fes.de.

Deborah J. Smith & Shelly Manalan, Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Case Study Series (2009), available at areu.org.af.

Deborah J. Smith & Shelly Manalan, Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Case Study Series (2009), available at areu.org.af.

Deborah J. Smith & Shelly Manalan, A Holistic Justice System for Afghanistan, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Policy Note Series (2009), available at areu.org.af.

Astri Suhrke & Kaja Borchgrevink, Negotiating justice sector reform in Afghanistan Crime, L. & Soc. Change (2008), available at humansecuritygateway.com.

Marika Theros & Mary Kaldor, Building Afghan Peace From the Ground Up, (The Century Foundation, Feb. 2011), available at tcf.org.

Elizabeth Lee Walker, Culturally-Attuned Governance and Justice in Helmand Province, Afghanistan (2010), available at ronna-afghan.harmonieweb.org.

Ali Wardak, State and Non-State Justice Systems in Afghanistan: The Need for Synergy, 32 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 1305 (2011), available at law.upenn.edu.
Discusses efforts to rebuild the legal system in Afghanistan and advocates for greater cooperation between state and non-state legal processes.

Ali Wardak, Daud Saba, & Halima Kazem, Afghanistan National Human Development Report 2007: Bridging Modernity and Tradition: the Rule of Law and the Search for Justice (2007), available at hdr.undp.org.
Discusses progress toward Millennium Development Goals and the status of rule of law reform efforts through the formal and informal dispute resolution tribunals.

Ali Wardak, Building a Post-War Justice System in Afghanistan, 41 Crime, L. & Soc. Change 319 (2004), available at usip.org.
Discusses Islamic law, customary law, interim legal framework, human rights, and discusses how to integrate them into a new post-conflict legal system.

Ali Wardak, Structures of Authority and Local Dispute Settlement in Afghanistan, in Conflicts and Conflict Resolution in Middle Eastern Societies: Between Tradition and Modernity (Albrecht et al., eds., 2006).
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