The new JSRP report ‘Negotiating Justice: courts as local civil authority during the conflict in South Sudan‘ authored by Rachel Ibreck, Hannah Logan, and Naomi Pendle sets out findings from a project observing 600 customary and statutory court cases in South Sudan over a period of a year from July 2015 to July 2016. JSRP worked with twenty South Sudanese researchers who undertook the observations and provided the case studies highlighted in the report. Court cases were observed in locations across South Sudan, including in UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites.
The report builds on previous analyses that emphasised the importance of chiefs’ courts as a locus of civil authority engaged in making order, and as an entry point for initiatives to promote and protect the rights of the vulnerable (de Waal and Ibreck, 2016). Notably, the courts are situated within a fragmented justice and security landscape in the context of war, structural violence and corruption (de Waal, 2014).
Rachel Ibreck and Alex de Waal also explore the potential contribution of courts to ending the conflict in South Sudan in their blog Ending Impunity in South Sudan for Africa@LSE.