The complementarity between the state justice systems and the non-state justice systems in the South Asian region is well-documented. The non-state justice systems are complementary in their function with the state justice systems as they are a means of alternative justice delivery systems: they reduce the backlog of cases in the courts and provide a speedier and inexpensive mechanism of justice delivery to those living in rural areas who lack access to the courts. Therefore there is a need to study the complementarity between state and non-state justice systems, especially in the context of South Asia, as instances of non-state justice systems, such as jirgas, shuras, shalish, panchayat etc. have emerged as popular forms of dispute resolution as a result of the perceived failure or inaction by the state justice delivery systems.
The aim of this systematic review is to synthesise the findings on the complementarity between the systems which is vital as it offers insights into how the existing informal systems can be improved to make them more compliant with rule of law and international norms as well as to see how the formal system can be assisted in reducing and clearing the chronic backlog of cases in courts which have plagued the justice delivery systems in South Asia.
This report was commissioned under the Department for International Development’s DFID Systematic Review Programme for South Asia.
Ali F, Mathew SK, Gopalaswamy AK, and Babu MS (2017) Systematic review of different models and approaches of non-state justice systems in South Asia and its complementarity with the state justice delivery systems. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
Published 1 November 2017