Informal Justice and United Nations Peace Operations

International Organizations Law Review, Vol. 10, 2013

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 700

28 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2015

See all articles by Bruce Oswald

Bruce Oswald

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: February 23, 2015

Abstract

This paper seeks to address how UN military members undertaking UN peacekeeping operations should engage with customary or informal justice systems that they encounter. The relevant guidance that exists suggests that, as a policy matter, informal justice systems should not be allowed to deal with matters of serious crime because of the danger they may violate basic rights, and because dealing with serious crime is a key prerogative of the state. However, there is a growing movement away from adopting a unitary, state-centric rule of law orthodoxy approach, towards viewing the rule of law from the perspective of legal pluralism. Using that perspective, and in acknowledging that military members of UN peace operations are highly likely to be confronted by informal justice systems during peace operations, this paper maps three principles that UN military members should apply when dealing with informal justice systems in the context of UN peace operations: giving due regard to applicable informal justice systems, maintaining oversight of the application of informal justice norms and practices, and avoiding corrupting informal justice systems.

Keywords: peacekeeping, informal justice

JEL Classification: K00, K33

Suggested Citation

Oswald, Bruce, Informal Justice and United Nations Peace Operations (February 23, 2015). International Organizations Law Review, Vol. 10, 2013, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 700, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2568942

Bruce Oswald (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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