Maria Derks

Policy and Research Papers

Improving Security and Justice Through Local/Non-State Actors

Local/non‐state actors often play an important role in the provision of justice and security services in many of the world’s fragile and (post‐)conflict countries. With a view to improving their effectiveness, donors seeking to support justice and security development in thosecountries frequently look for ways to incorporate them in their programmes. However, given that non‐state actors can also be detrimental to local security and justice (for example when they form part of organized crime), supporting them also involves huge risks. With this dilemma in mind, the Clingendael Institute’s Conflict Research Unit investigated conceptual, policy and practical opportunities and challenges for including local/non‐state security and justice networks in security and justice programming. The project consisted of a conceptual desk‐study; case studies in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi; and a synthesis phase focusing on the lessons learned from the project, complemented by an expert brainstorm meeting, on the practical issues that donors must deal with if they are to successfully include local/non‐state actors in security and justice programmes.The present report summarizes the findings from this synthesis effort. It concludes that in each of the cases examined, it was possible to identify local/non‐state actors suitable for support and ways to support them. They included actors such as local courts, lay judges, neighbourhood watch groups, community development councils, and trade associations. However, the research also identified a number of practical risks and challenges that donors need to manage and overcome in order to ensure that such actors are included effectively into broader, overall security and justice programmes.

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The Deaf, the Blind and the Politician: The Troubles of Justice and Security Interventions in Fragile States

This article argues for an integrated, political and pragmatic approach to justice and security development as one of the key objectives of effective international support to peace building and state building in conflict-affected and fragile states. Developments since the 1990s suggest that different actors and communities have started to work on the same issues from different angles and with – perceived– different mandates. As a result, important parts of the debate on how to deal with security system reform (SSR), justice reform and the rule of law seem somewhat stuck in conceptual arguments. This article suggests moving away from such debates and instead to focus on what such justice and security engagements are meant to achieve, for whom, and which general approaches are likely to provide most added value. It argues that results require political focus, long-term processes and need to be in tune with local elite interests – whilst pursuing the aim of gradually helping to improve delivery of justice and security as basic services for all, to appropriate local standards. External and domestic objectives require careful balancing, creative compromises and strong incentives. The article also outlines a number of recurrent challenges to effective programming and suggests some ideas for improvement to achieve better results and more value for money.

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The EU and Rule of Law Reform in Kosovo

This paper presents the findings of a case-study carried out in Kosovo in January 2010, which investigated the challenges and opportunities that the EU faces supporting the reform of the rule of law in that country. It also identified a number of tensions and challenges at both the design/planning stage and the implementation stage of SSR support, and pointed to a number of avenues for improvement.

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