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Lawyers advocate for customary law

Author : | Published: Monday, December 1, 2014

Some South Sudanese lawyers have suggested that customary justice should be included into the transitional justice efforts in South Sudan.

In a newsletter released today by the South Sudan Law Society, a lawyer with the Access to Justice Program at Pact-South Sudan says customary justice is more suitable than statutory justice.

Riek James Doar of the Pact South Sudan argues that family members were divided and village members killed each other.

He says the procedure in the customary law courts is simple, and that most of the disputes are settled at a single day’s sitting with a verdict announced the same day.

Mr Doar says the inquisitive style used by chiefs engages the parties during the trials and makes the hearings and trials generally expeditious.

“If given a much broader subject matter jurisdiction, the envisaged Special Customary Law Courts could also expedite truth-telling leading to the restoration, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing among communities,” said Mr Doar

He says customary law courts are cheap and focus on reconciliation, which enable people to have a peaceful society.

The newsletter also argues that a new constitution is essential to restore peace in the country.

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