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The enduring utility of customary justice in fragile and post-conflict states: why development actors need to stop searching for magic bullets and solve the political economy and human rights challenges associated with justice programming
The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2022-01-07, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2021.2004845
Erica Harper


Although programming with them has lost the appeal and expectancy it enjoyed two decades ago, customary systems continue to play important roles, including in some of today’s most challenging and predatory environments. This ongoing utility raises important questions about how such systems could be better leveraged, and why programming dilemmas, including around human rights and state-non-state relations, remain unresolved. Crafting solutions to these dilemmas, it is argued, will require changes in practice, none of which will be easy or necessarily welcomed by the development community. In this process, past programming experience can offer rich lessons that should be drawn upon.