Post-Conflict Traditional Justice


Since the mid-1990s, there has been a proliferation of attempts to adapt and institutionalize forms of traditional justice as part of post-conflict policy. This has occurred in places as diverse as Timor Leste and Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. While anthropologists have long been interested in traditional justice, and have emphasized it in studies of rapid social change and post-conflict reconciliation, it is a relatively new arena for transitional justice. Indeed, the foregrounding of traditional justice as a possible alternative to new international mechanisms seems to have come as a bit of a surprise to those promoting truth commissions, criminal courts, and tribunals. There are certainly paradoxical aspects to it, given that the shift of interest towards local accountability mechanisms is occurring at the same time as international criminal law is expanding.


Allen, T.; MacDonald, A. Post-Conflict Traditional Justice. In: Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Edited by Bruinsma, G.; Weisburd, D.). Springer, (2014)

Post-Conflict Traditional Justice

Published 1 January 2014