Source: (2003) Paper delivered at workshop on "working with Non-State Justice Systems held at the Overseas Development Institute held 6-7 March. Institute of Development Studies. Downloaded 12 December 2003.

As Wilfried Scharf remarks, non-state justice systems are a reality in almost all countries around the world. Their extent, character, and importance vary considerably depending on a wide range of local factors. These include, for example, the diversity of the population, levels of urbanization, the type of economy, and the cultural moral system. Other important factors in understanding the nature and shape of non-state justice systems in developing countries in Africa have to do with the organization of the state in the decolonization period following the 1960s and with moves toward democratization in the 1990s. In this context, Schxc3xa4rf looks at six countries in particular: South Africa; Malawi; Lesotho; Zambia; Botswana; and Mozambique. He discusses the terminology used in the last half century in reference to non-state justice; the ideological influences on this terminology; different forms of non-state justice in the six countries; and state responses to such justice. Scharf includes recommendations on how states, donors, and citizens can contribute to better governance and more effective cooperation between different forms of non-state justice.


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