Challenges of Accountability. An Assessment of Dispute Resolution Processes in Rural South Sudan (2013)
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Written in 2013 by David K. Deng of the South Sudan Law Society, this report provides an assessment of local justice systems in six rural counties across three states: Budi and Ikotos counties in Eastern Equatoria State; Akobo and Pibor counties in Jonglei State; and Nasir and Renk counties in Upper Nile State. Chapter One provides relevant background information, including an overview of the Access to Justice in South Sudan Program. Chapter Two delves deeper into the landscape of justice in South Sudan by outlining the problems confronting local justice systems and recent attempts at reform. Chapter Three details certain challenges of accountability that arise in relation to inter-communal homicides, trans-boundary cattle theft and abductions, gender discrimination in customary justice, and excessive use of criminal sanctions in relation to unpaid debt. Chapter Four provides additional information about the choices that people make when navigating local justice systems, their preferred complaint mechanisms when confronted with different types of disputes and their perceptions of procedural fairness and outcome satisfaction with different complaint mechanisms. The conclusion summarizes the most important findings and outlines certain targeted reforms that can help to strengthen local justice systems in the current context.