Justice Versus Peace in Northern Kenya
World Bank Justice and Development Working Paper Series No. 2/2009
25 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 1, 2009
The conflicting relationship between peace and justice is frequently debated in the field of transitional justice. The obligation to prosecute serious crimes can contradict the measures necessary to reestablish peace among society. The predicament gives rise to a similar, though less obvious, challenge in many developing countries, where the formal justice system can be at odds with conflict management initiatives. Often, due to their inaccessibility or incompatibility with local socio-cultural norms, official justice institutions in developing countries do not fully penetrate the whole of society. In response, conflict management and peacebuilding initiatives have proven to be more flexible and responsive to socio-political realities. While such initiatives may be more efficient in reestablishing the peace between communities in conflict, they may contradict the official law.
Current policy efforts and practices in the arid lands of Kenya illustrate this dilemma. Official justice institutions have proven too weak or ill-suited to prevent or resolve conflicts between local communities. To address the prevailing tensions, local ad hoc peace initiatives have developed, which operate on the basis of local norms and include local stakeholders. Given their relative success, some high level state agents have embraced the initiatives. The Office of the President is currently drafting a national policy framework on conflict management and peacebuilding, which is in part based on the experiences in the arid lands. Such a policy framework will ultimately have to deal with a similar dilemma known from the field of transitional justice: a decision between the establishment of peace and the application of formal justice may be required.
Keywords: Peace, Justice, Law and Development, Legal Empowerment, Conflict, Land, Conflict Resolution, Development, Kenya, Africa
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?
The Relationship Between Law and Development: Optimists versus Skeptics
Law versus the State: The Judicialization of Politics in Egypt
The World Bank's Uses of the 'Rule of Law' Promise in Economic Development
Inequality and the Rule of Law
By Daniel M. Brinks and Sandra Botero
Bread for the Poor: Access to Justice and the Rights of the Needy in India
By Marc Galanter and Jayanth K. Krishnan
Chapter 1 of 'Roads to the Rule of Law: The Emergence of an Independent Judiciary in Contemporary Egypt'
Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America
By Alexandra Valeria Huneeus, Javier Couso, ...
Judging from a Guilty Conscience: The Chilean Judiciary's Human Rights Turn
Upping the Ante: Collective Litigation in Latin America
Rule of Law, Regulation and Growth of Mobile Telecommunications
By Adam Candeub, Brendan Michael Cunningham, ...