Informal and formal systems of rule of law

This Note approaches the interplay of formal and informal justice systems and their respective merits by focussing on the justice needs of people. Needs, as expressed through the demand for justice services, has been neglected by the donor community as a factor in informing approaches and attitudes towards plural legal systems. Instead much of the current debate, both in academia and in the communities of law and development practitioners, has run along quasi-ideological lines, with positions often rooted in beliefs and anecdotes but not in evidence.