Mapping the Justice System and Legal Framework in a Conflict-Affected Country

41 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2015

Date Written: August 17, 2015


It is vital that a rule of law practitioner providing assistance in a conflict-affected country first be familiar with the justice system in that country and the laws in operation. This can be an immensely challenging task, given the complexity of such systems and the fact that the rule of law practitioner may be working in a country with a different legal tradition to the one he or she was trained in. This guide provides rule of law practitioners with an overview of the range of potential justice systems, justice organizations and actors and laws that they may encounter when attempting to understand the post-conflict justice system and legal framework. Section 1 of this guide focuses on the state justice system and its various institutions and actors. Section 2 emphasizes the need to look at customary justice systems. This includes religious systems of justice, rebel/militia justice systems that formed during or after the conflict, as well as other actors who are mediating, arbitrating or adjudicating disputes. Section 3 discusses a range of potential other justice actors and institutions that may be important to include in a map of the justice system. Finally, Section 4 examines the legislative framework or the range of different laws that a practitioner may find in a post-conflict context.

Suggested Citation

O'Connor, Vivienne, Mapping the Justice System and Legal Framework in a Conflict-Affected Country (August 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Vivienne O'Connor (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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