Under the microscope: Customary justice systems in northern Mali

The people of Mali use many types of justice mechanisms, both connected to and further disassociated from the state, to resolve their conflicts. This has led to the creation of a diverse justice ecology that includes both what are often described as ‘formal’ actors—such as state appointed lawyers and judges — and ‘customary’ actors — such as qadis, imans, village chiefs, family heads and elders. This report reveals heretofore undocumented information about the customary justice systems in northern Mali, which we gathered from 108 interviews across the regions of Gao, Mopti and Tombouctou.

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