Case Studies

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study

East Timor – Reconciling formal and customary systems through evidence-based programming


Traditional legal practices in East Timor, usually imbued with ancestral religious beliefs, are inherent to a system in which kinship concepts regulate most aspects of everyday life. Conflict resolution and punishment of crimes are part of this. These even kept their relevance throughout Portuguese colonial rule and Indonesian occupation, actually adapting and taking advantage of the formal laws imposed by both external rulers. “These mechanisms have developed in an environment where no state-bodies prevailed, and are paradigmatically contradictory to modern systems of rule of law”, as highlighted by Tanja Hohe and Rod Nixon (see reference below).

Within the complexity and diversity of Timorese legal systems, customary law is characterized by collective restorative justice and social sanction as means for enforcement. It is also a layered system in which a dispute is first reported to the family, then subsequently to the leaders of the village, hamlet, “suco” (group of villages), finally to the elders in the community, and maybe also to the police (albeit this does not mean that the case will follow a formal judicial route of resolution). The pertinence and legitimacy of customary justice implies that, even when justice is done through the formal institutions, the community still needs and demands that the issue be settled through traditional mechanisms. Support to the justice sector in independent East Timor, starting with the United Nations Transitional Administration in 1999, carries the assumption that the extension of statutory justice will gradually replace traditional mechanisms and reconcile its core values with modern concepts and norms.

Entry point

Justice sector development has been central to state-building and peacebuilding in East Timor but, as the Asia Foundation points out, the citizens have seen little benefit “despite many years and tens of millions of dollars spent on reforming the formal system by supporting the physical and human resource infrastructure for formal court actors”. Whilst progress has been made in recent years on strengthening formal justice, the resilience of local systems challenges common assumptions in justice development and questions the validity of rule of law interventions.

The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organisation, has been conducting periodic assessments of end-users’ perceptions of the impartiality, effectiveness and accessibility of the justice system in East Timor, going beyond the understanding of where people go to address their justice concerns.

Surveys were conducted in 2004, 2008, and 2013 by the Asia Foundation with local partners, providing an important snapshot of perceptions held toward formal and informal justice mechanisms, the police, and security in general. The comparison between formal and informal systems was a vital component of the survey.

The results of the surveys pointed to the need to support other actors under justice reform programmes, and contradicted prevailing perceptions about whom ordinary people call on to seek justice. Moreover, the lessons extracted allow for evidence-based programming in a crucial area, fostering sustainability and ownership of interventions aiming at reconciling customary systems with statutory justice.

Lessons identified

The most important lesson from the three perception surveys undertaken by Asia Foundation is that institutions and systems that have little or no relevance to a people’s way of life are unlikely to be adopted in the short term. In this, the data provides strong evidence backing policy and academic literature – above all, from anthropologists – describing how the state-building enterprise in East Timor ignored the pre-existing and functioning local legal order.

The 2013 survey confirmed that, despite significant progress toward strengthening the formal justice system, “a greater proportion of people in contemporary Timor-Leste are more confident and comfortable with local justice systems.” Attitudes towards women’s access to justice, meanwhile, remained significantly worse than in 2004. Ultimately, despite outreach initiatives since 2008 (the year of the last major political-security crisis), Asia Foundation research shows that the people of Timor-Leste continue to have limited knowledge about the justice system and their legal rights. The data indicates also that concerns about best practice, human rights standards, and equitable treatment for all members of society in such a strictly patriarchal and hierarchical system are not yet adequately addressed.

The Asia Foundation strongly recommends stakeholders in justice development to effectively engage with traditional actors and aligning them with existing obligations under the Constitution and international norms, to ensure quality of care and a ‘do no harm’ approach.

Selected Resources

case study


Documentary on Peace and Security for Women in Timor-Leste

2010: During the recent conflicts in Timor Leste, women and girls were the victims of widespread sexual violence and abuse. This documentary describes these traumatic experiences but also the solutions provided by a local NGO, supported by the UN. As such, this piece highlights the particular vulnerability women and girls are exposed to during armed conflict. Including women and girls in peace processes remains an essential element of the sustainibility of these processes. View this documentary here


Policy and Research Papers

Institutionalising Community Policing in Timor-Leste: Police Development in Asia's Youngest Country

As part of ODI’s Securing Communities project, which aims to understand different models of community policing around the world, this case study examines the development of community policing policy and practice in Timor-Leste. As with the Securing Communities project more broadly, the focus is on the diversity of objectives, approaches and methods of community policing, the ‘messy politics’ of its development and what this means for those who aim to support this policing model. This case study examines some key features of community policing policy development and practice in Timor-Leste.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Security in Post-Conflict Contexts: What Counts as Progress and What Drives It?

This working paper explores how to understand progress in security in post-conflict societies, laying the groundwork for Development Progress' forthcoming security case studies on Liberia and Timor Leste.

It identifies that post-conflict transitions are messy and complex, depending on a wide range of interconnected drivers of change that need to be understood if we are to explain progress or regress. It argues for a modest understanding of security to capture limited but important examples of progress in post-conflict situations, whilst acknowlegding that what constitutes progress in conflict-affected areas is likely to be deeply contested.
Also looking at financial resources and sustainability, including as a foundation for longer term development, the paper acts as a primer for the exploration of security to be undertaken by the Development Progress project.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Justice Under International Administration: Kosovo, East Timor and Afghanistan

This report will examine some questions relating to the delivery of justice in countries and territories under international administration through the experiences of United Nations administrations in Kosovo (1999— ) and East Timor (1999-2002) and the assistance mission in Afghanistan (2002— ). Though the United Nations had exercised varying measures of executive power in previous missions, notably West Papua (1962-1963), Cambodia (1992-1993), and Eastern Slavonia (1996-1998), Kosovo and East Timor were the first occasions on which the UN exercised full judicial power within a territory.

To view this article, please follow this link.


Poster Boys No More

Gender analysis of actual SSR processes is sorely lacking in the SSR literature. In ‘Poster Boys No More: Gender and Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste’ Henri Myrttinen breaks new ground in examining the gender dimensions of the DDR and SSR processes in Timor-Leste, with a focus on the establishment of the police and armed forces. The paper explores issues such as: how men’s roles relate to gang violence and relationships of patronage that undermine the security services, how women have been incorporated into the new security services and how the security services are addressing gender-based violence. It shows how a gender perspective can add to our understanding of many of the social processes at work in Timor-Leste and help to find solutions to some of the main security issues in the country, making recommendations for Timor-Leste’s ongoing SSR processes.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Background to the DDR/SSR Process

3. Gender Roles in Timor-Leste 
3.1 Women and girls
3.2 Men and boys

4. Violence, Insecurity and Gender 
4.1 Masculinities and the legitimacy of violence 
4.2 Patrons and clients 
4.3 Gender-based violence

5. FALINTIL-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) 
5.1 Structure 
5.2 Recruitment and training 
5.3 Internal tensions and external problems

6. Policía Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) 
6.1 Structure 
6.2 Recruitment and training 
6.3 GBV and the Vulnerable Persons Units 
6.4 Internal and external problems of the PNTL

7. The 2006 Crisis 
7.1 Overview of events 
7.2 Aftermath of the crisis

8. Overview of Post-2006 SSR Developments 
8.1 The F-FDTL 
8.2 The PNTL 
8.3 The SSR process

9. Analysis and Policy Recommendations

Appendix 1. Timeline of key events from 1974-2009

Appendix 2. Overview of UN Missions in Timor-Leste 1999-2009


Improving Security and Justice Programming in Fragile Situations

This OECD Development Policy Paper by Erwin van Veen explores how international support for security and justice development programming needs to be designed in order to strengthen programmatic results and improve the effectiveness of peacebuilding and statebuilding strategies. Fragile environments can be tough and complex places in which to operate, and there is limited scope for external actors to drive reforms that fundamentally alter domestic power dynamics. Yet there is sufficient evidence to suggest that externally supported programmes can contribute to incremental change and lay the groundwork for a sustainable change process.

Based on a case study analysis of nine externally supported security and justice development programmes in Burundi, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, and Timor-Leste, the article stresses the need to consider four critical enablers that can improve the quality of international support. These enablers range from daily political engagement to an increased duration of the security and programmes to 6-10 years, along with the inclusion of longer-term results in the programme and ensuring that the implementation programme is adjustable.

To access the OECD paper by Erwin van Veen on Improving Security and Justice Programming in Fragile Situations, kindly follow the link.


Strategic Planning in Fragile and Conflict Contexts

The primary audience for this research paper is the strategic planner in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), understood broadly as any actor involved in either the formulation of national priorities to mitigate or recover from conflict, or the design of international strategies to support such priorities. The paper explores the tensions and tradeoffs incurred throughout the planning process on a range of engagement principles, including national ownership, prioritization, and sequencing. It aims to serve two purposes: i) provide a broad concept of key elements of planning and ii) identify key recommendations for engagement as well as policy and capacity gaps in the international community’s support of strategic planning processes

The first section of the paper offers general considerations related to i) the tradeoffs and tensions inherent to strategic planning processes in FCAS, and ii) the challenges and opportunities that planners face, as a means to set the context and rationale for the guidance and recommendations presented throughout the paper. The second and third sections discuss the prerequisites for and the actual steps of the strategic planning process, with a focus on current practice and its range of tradeoffs and tensions, including challenges in formulating results for greater accountability and issues related, inter alia, to ownership, prioritization, and funding. The conclusion presents a summary of findings, along with key policy recommendations drawn from the analysis and the case studies, as well as suggested areas where further research could strengthen the international community’s capacities to support strategic planning processes.



Timor-Leste: The Continuing Challenge of Police Building and Security Governance

Twelve years after independence, Timor-Leste currently experiences relative political stability. Even after the pull-out of UN armed personnel at the end of 2012, no serious incidents troubled the country as in 2006 during the violent clashes between members of the police and the military, or the almost deadly assaults on the Timorese President and Prime Minister in 2008. However, this stability should not be misinterpreted. Indeed the relative calm is mainly a result of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão’s “buying peace” policy.

To access the full report Timor-Leste: The Continuing Challenge of Police Building and Security Governance, kindly click on the link.


Is ‘good enough’ peacebuilding good enough? The potential and pitfalls of the local turn in peacebuilding in Timor-Leste

There is a palpable sense of humility within the United Nations and other international institutions regarding peacebuilding. Rather than seeking to implement the liberal peace, they now pursue the more modest goal of ‘good enough’ outcomes. This shift reflects a growing consensus in the critical literature that space needs to be provided for the local agency that will ultimately determine the outcomes of peacebuilding. At first blush this emphasis on local agency is positive; it offers an important correction to the technocratic and generally top-down nature of liberal peacebuilding. But, is the ‘good enough’ approach to peacebuilding good enough? What are the pitfalls and potential of the local turn? This article uses a case study of Timor-Leste to answer these questions. It finds that the local turn can help lend legitimacy to the state and increase opportunities for political participation and the delivery of public goods at the local level. However, the emerging evidence from Timor-Leste also highlights the pitfalls of the local turn. Most significantly, the state can transfer responsibility for public goods provision to the local level in order to lessen the burden on the state and to divert attention from ineffective or illegitimate central institutions.

To access the full article Is ‘good enough’ peacebuilding good enough? The potential and pitfalls of the local turn in peacebuilding in Timor-Leste, kindly click on the link.


Indigenous East-Timorese Practices of Building and Sustaining Peace

Indigenous East Timorese peacebuilding practices, known as tarabandunahe biti  , juramentu ,matak -malarin , and halerik  , are critical to transforming violence in Timor-Leste. These Indigenous peacebuilding practices are usually cheaper, more readily available and more flexible than liberal peacebuilding practices. The prioritisation of liberal peacebuilding over Indigenous peacebuilding systems by the Government and many international actors perpetuates cultural and structural violence in Indigenous communities in Timor-Leste. Despite these challenges, ordinary East Timorese continue to use and assert the importance of Indigenous peacebuilding practices to transform community violence, build relationships and maintain cultural rituals to bring the cosmos and the secular world into balance .

To access the full chapter Indigenous East-Timorese Practices of Building and Sustaining Peace, kindly click on the link.


Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste has experienced a combination of United Nations (UN), bilateral and Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL)-led Security Sector Development (SSD) efforts since its people voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999. The overcrowded SSD field with multiple agencies and contradictory influences was a further hindrance to coherent SSD. The failure of international actors to engage politically and engender state ownership of the SSD processes was a lost opportunity. As a result, many of the government’s own initiatives did not meet internationally-upheld democratic benchmarks. The compromises made continue to blight the security sector context today, however, they were, in the eyes of the government, political necessities for the survival and stability of the new state. Following the withdrawal of the last UN mission, UNMIT, in 2012, the SSD field has become less crowded. While there are fewer bilateral agencies involved, some inconsistencies and contradictions between approaches to SSD remain. The GoTL is however being more directive of international support and is demanding more collaboration, coordination and consistency from its partners. New, second generation approaches to SSD are emerging that are working more closely with government systems as well as non-state actors and informal justice systems to bring about a more gradual, but more embedded process of transition towards improved democratic accountability in Timor-Leste’s security sector.

To access the full report Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste, kindly click on the link.


Searching for Conflict Related Missing Persons in Timor-Leste: Technical, Political and Cultural Considerations

This paper outlines the context in which many thousands of people went missing in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999. The issues related to estimating the exact number of missing are discussed, followed by a review of the mechanisms implemented by the government and civil society since independence to attempt to examine and investigate the fate of missing persons. The paper then examines the technical details involved with searching for the missing which impact on the effectiveness of the different mechanisms. Further complexities related to scientific and religious/cultural beliefs when dealing with the missing are discussed. The paper concludes withquestioning the to date ad hoc  approach to the search for the missing in Timor-Leste, and providing suggestions for ways that the future search for the missing can realistically continue in light of other competing development priorities.

To access the full report Searching for Conflict Related Missing Persons in Timor-Leste: Technical, Political and Cultural Considerations, kindly click on the link.


A review of Peace Operations: a case for change: East Timor

This study reviews the planning for and work of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), which was established on 25 October 1999 and ended when East Timor regained its independence on 20 May 2002. The report identifies the key characteristics of UNTAET in terms of its mandate, structure, strategy design and implementation, as well as its impact on the people and the governance of the newly independent East Timor. The seven-person team carried out its assessment on the basis of a review of a range of relevant UN and other documentation, approximately 180 interviews conducted in East Timor, New York, London, Washington, Geneva and Canberra, and focus group sessions held in East Timor. 

To access the entire conference report A review of Peace Operations: a case for change: East Timor, kindly click on the link.


Rethinking Timorese Identity as a Peacebuilding Strategy: The Lorosa’e – Loromonu Conflict from a Traditional Perspective

Since 2006 East Timor has been faced with a crisis of internal conflict. A deepening regional and social division has become tangible for the first time since independence. This conflict or division was defined by animosities, distrust and eventually street fights between people considered to be either of Lorosa’e (Eastern) or Loromonu (Western) region and background. Violence erupted out of widespread perceptions that discrimination against such regional groupings permeated state institutions, particularly in the security sector. From here unrest spread and led to the large-scale displacement of parts of the population that is still ongoing. The most significant damage caused by this crisis was to the internal relationships that had until then bound the country together. This article is an attempt to analyse the impact of the government-sponsored dialogue and peace-making initiatives by international actors present in East Timor on the root causes underlying the eruption of violence. 

To access the entire conference report Rethinking Timorese Identity as a Peacebuilding Strategy: The Lorosa’e – Loromonu Conflict from a Traditional Perspective , kindly click on the link.


The Transition to a Just Order – Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict: A Practitioners’ Guide

This handbook and its sister publication, the policy report The Transition to a Just Order: Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict, A Practitioner’s Guide, are based on the findings of a two year long study conducted jointly by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), in partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). The study offers a comprehensive analysis of the principle of local ownership, the key dilemmas involved in pursuing local ownership and the challenges and issues that arise when local ownership is being put into practice.

It takes a closer look at strategies and mechanisms for transition in four cases studies: Afghanistan, the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo), Timor-Leste and West Africa (Liberia and Sierra Leone).
The cases have been selected to illustrate the varying degrees of international involvement in post-conflict justice and security sector reform. Kosovo and Timor-Leste represent scenarios where the international community has taken the lead in taking responsibility for law and order, while West Africa and especially Afghanistan are illustrative of postconflict environments where primacy has rested with local authorities. The study is based on field visits by the authors to all the case study countries with
the exception of Timor-Leste and numerous interviews with local stakeholders, practitioners, policy makers and established academics working on justice and security sector issues. The study has also benefited greatly from discussions which took place in a workshop held in Stockholm in May 2006 as well as a rigorous peer review process. The handbook uses the findings in the case studies and examples from these peacebuilding processes to highlight some of the key challenges.

To view this publication, follow this link.


UN Police, Justice and Corrections Programming in Timor Leste - A Compact Case Study

Case studies on police, justice and corrections programming for nine UN complex operations and special political missions were developed by Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations Program at the request of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They are descriptive rather than analytic documents that help to organize, by mission, the issues and activities that the main study, Understanding Impact of Police, Justice and Corrections in UN Peace Operations, treats functionally, across cases, and are summarized in the study’s annexes. 

To view the publication, please follow this link.


An Increased Spotlight: Australia in Timor-Leste

With the departure of United Nations peacekeepers, Australia becomes the largest international presence in Timor-Leste. It does so at not necessarily an easy time: despite the stark development challenges that remain, the government in Dili is tired of outside advice. Australia’s past actions over oil and gas in the Timor Sea still cast a shadow over the present. Although Australian aid in Timor-Leste is wide and varied, drawing broad conclusions about its effectiveness and impact is difficult owing to the relative absence of independent evaluations of these programs. Decisions made by each country’s leaders can impact detectably upon the bilateral relationship and complicate the work of Australian government personnel in Dili.


Playing Pool at the Hard Rock Café

Based on his observations and social encounters in Oecusse, the author presents an ethnographic snapshot of UN involvement and the impact of this on the security reform in Timor-Leste. From language problems and lack of interaction between national and international civil servants to income disparities between them, this vivid first hand account complements the existing formal literature on reform in the country. 


From Timor-Leste to Darfur: New Initiatives for enhancing UN Civilian Policing Capacity

As peacekeepers have deployed at unprecedented levels worldwide, the demand for police to serve in such missions has swelled.The United Nations (UN), for example, has increased the use of police from two percent of its peacekeeping forces in 1995 to more than twelve percent today. The mandates for UN missions have also expanded dramatically, with greater attention devoted to police and rule of law activities. This trend reflects a recognition of the need to establish public security, combat lawlessness, and support the rule of law and governance in post-conflict societies.

Over 40 percent of the police deployed in UN missions today are in Africa, with officers working to support and build more effective and accountable rule of law institutions in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia. African countries are also substantial contributors of police to UN missions, with more than a quarter of those deployed coming from the continent.

This Issue Brief explores the current demand for UN police, looks at recent and ongoing reforms undertaken at the United Nations and in the field, and considers additional ways to address shortcomings in the use of police and rule of law teams in peace operations.

This Issue Brief is one of six produced as part of Stimson’s workshop series, A Better Partnership for African Peace Operations, made possible by a generous grant from the United States Institute of Peace. The series examined progress, challenges, and potential steps forward in expanding national, regional, and international capacity to lead and participate in peace operations in Africa. The six issue briefs produced in conjunction with this project provide background and analytical context for the insights gained through the Better Partnership workshops. Each brief also highlights workshop findings and identifies recommendations for the US, UN, regional organizations, and policymakers.

To view this publication, please follow this link.



Internal Security and Statebuilding Aligning Agencies and Functions

This book examines international efforts to provide security in post-conflict sites and explains why internal security should be given precedence in statebuilding endeavours.

The work begins by exploring the evolution of security sectors in mature liberal democratic states, before examining the attempts of such states to accelerate that evolutionary process in post-conflict sites through statebuilding and security sector reform. These discussions suggest interestingly different answers to the question of who should provide for internal security in international operations. When considering mature states, there are both practical and normative reasons as to why internal security has become the sole domain of police, with military forces being excluded from internal affairs. In peace and stability operations, on the other hand, difficulties with utilising police personnel have led to military forces being required to play internal security roles. This tension is investigated further through detailed case studies of three recent missions: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands. These case studies both reinforce and augment the practical and normative reasons for ensuring that internal security remains the domain of police. This then impacts upon peace and stability operations in two important ways. If we are to provide enduring security in post-conflict sites, we should both (i) prioritise internal security agencies in security sector reform efforts, and (ii) prioritise ways of enabling police to play internal security roles in the contributing mission.


Back to the Roots: Security Sector Reform and Development

There has now been more than a decade of conceptual work, policy development and operational activity in the field of security sector reform (SSR). To what extent has its original aim to support and facilitate development been met? The different contributions to this volume address this question, offering a range of insights on the theoretical and practical relevance of the security-development nexus in SSR. They examine claims of how and whether SSR effectively contributes to achieving both security and development objectives. In particular, the analyses presented in this volume provide a salutary lesson that development and security communities need to take each other’s concerns into account when planning, implementing and evaluating their activities. The book offers academics, policy-makers and practitioners within the development and security communities relevant lessons, suggestions and practical advice for approaching SSR as an instrument that serves both security and development objectives.


The Protection and Promotion of Human Security in East Asia

This book is part of the Palgrave Macmillan Critical Studies of the Asia Pacific series.

Although many of the states of East Asia have achieved startling success, not all have benefited from the region's development. Many of the most vulnerable sections of East Asian populations still face tremendous challenges in their daily lives, have yet to enjoy the rewards of the Asian Century, and may even be further imperiled as a result of the forces of development. Brendan Howe examines the measurements of success in East Asian development and governance from a human-centered perspective. He assesses obstacles to the protection and promotion of human security and development through detailed case studies of the most challenged states in the region, including Burma, Timor-Leste, Japan and North and South Korea. He looks at the roles that East Asian actors can play, and have been playing, in protecting and promoting human security at the theoretical and practical level.

Chapter 1: Human Security: Challenges and Opportunities in East Asia

Chapter 2: Human Security and Good Governance

Chapter 3: East Asian Perspectives on Human Security and Governance

Chapter 4: Human Security and National Insecurity in North Korea

Chapter 5: Conflict Drivers in Muslim Mindanao

Chapter 6: Human Insecurity and Underdevelopment in Laos

Chapter 7: Transforming Conflictual Relationships in Myanmar/Burma

Chapter 8: Rebuilding Human Security in Timor-Leste

Chapter 9: Human Security and Japanese Strategic Aid

Chapter 10: South Korea’s Contribution to the Promotion of Human Security

Chapter 11: Future Contributions to East Asian Human Security


Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies

The major peacekeeping and stability operations of the last ten years have mostly taken place in countries that have pervasive customary justice systems, which pose significant challenges and opportunities for efforts to reestablish the rule of law. These systems are the primary, if not sole, means of dispute resolution for the majority of the population, but post-conflict practitioners and policymakers often focus primarily on constructing formal justice institutions in the Western image, as opposed to engaging existing traditional mechanisms. This book offers insight into how the rule of law community might make the leap beyond rhetorical recognition of customary justice toward a practical approach that incorporates the realities of its role in justice strategies."Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies" presents seven in-depth case studies that take a broad interdisciplinary approach to the study of the justice system. Moving beyond the narrow lens of legal analysis, the cases Mozambique, Guatemala, East Timor, Afghanistan, Liberia, Iraq, Sudan examine the larger historical, political, and social factors that shape the character and role of customary justice systems and their place in the overall justice sector. Written by resident experts, the case studies provide advice to rule of law practitioners on how to engage with customary law and suggest concrete ways policymakers can bridge the divide between formal and customary systems in both the short and long terms. Instead of focusing exclusively on ideal legal forms of regulation and integration, this study suggests a holistic and flexible palette of reform options that offers realistic improvements in light of social realities and capacity limitations. The volume highlights how customary justice systems contribute to, or detract from, stability in the immediate post-conflict period and offers an analytical framework for assessing customary justice systems that can be applied in any country.


Security, Development and Nation-Building in Timor-Leste

Despite Timor-Leste's high expectations when it became independent from Indonesia in 2002, the country is ranked among the least developed countries in the world. It has found itself at the centre of international attention in the last decade, with one of the biggest interventions in UN history, as well as receiving amongst the highest per capita rates of bilateral assistance in the Asia-Pacific region. This book draws together the perspectives of practitioners, policy-makers and academics on the international efforts to rebuild one of the world's newest nations. The contributors consider issues of peace-building, security and justice sector reform as well as human security in Timor-Leste, locating these in the broader context of building nation, stability and development. The book includes two demographic studies that can be used to critically examine the nation's possible future. Engaging in deliberate consideration of both practical and theoretical complexities of international interventions, this book will be of interest to academics and students in the fields of Development, Security and Southeast Asian Studies.


Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice in East Timor

Did the United Nations successfully help to build a just, peaceful state and society in postconflict East Timor? Has transitional justice satisfied local demands for accountability and/or reconciliation? What lessons can be learned from the UNżs efforts? Drawing on extensive field work, James DeShaw Rae offers a grassroots perspective on the relationship between peacebuilding and transitional justice. Rae traces the effects of the political violence perpetrated in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation, as well as the UN-authorized intervention and the ultimate formulation of the rebuilding effort. In the process, he explores the results of hybrid (mixed domestic-international) tribunals and the attempt to conduct war crimes tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions in tandem. Not least, his account of the impact of international actors working with the East Timorese to construct a new nation from the ground up suggests important policy prescriptions for all postconflict societies.


Other Documents

Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Timor-Leste: the Challenges of Respecting Local Ownership

Peacebuilding is an operation to rebuild the social foundation and structures for sustainable peace in a post-conflict society. The assistance that the international community extends to this end can only be temporary, indirect and/or rear-end supported. Local talents and organisations that would actively carry out the process are, therefore, indispensable; supporting these initiatives of local actors and organisations allows the local community to develop a sense of ownership in their peacebuilding process. This is the desirable form of assistance that the international community is expected to provide.

This ideal form of assistance is shared among the UN and aid organisations involved in peacebuilding. For example, the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other related UN organisations as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) operating in that country all shared and understood the importance of the local ownership. 

This article identifies challenges to local ownership in peacebuilding and Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Timor-Leste, with a focus on the SSR in Timor-Leste after the 2006 crisis. For full access to the article, Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Timor-Leste: the Challenges of Respecting Local Ownership, kindly follow the link. 

Other Document

Research questions to develop CSO capacity in SSR

These are a set of questions which were used to help build CSO capacity to understand Timorese laws applicable to the security sector. 

Other Document

UNDPKO SSR Newsletter No. 15, July-September 2012

The SSR Newsletter provides an update on recent activities of the SSR Unit, gives an overview of upcoming initiatives and shares relevant information and announcements with the greater SSR community.
 In this issue:

  • The Fifth Inter- Agency Senior SSR Practitioners Workshop
  • SSR Chiefs and Advisers Discuss Common Challenges 
  • Spotlight on a Mission: SSR in Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Developing Guidance on Public Expenditure Reviews 
  • Opening of an Emergency Response Centre in Timor-Leste 
  • A Video on Defence Sector Reform 
  • Support Visit to Libya 
  • Coming Soon... 
  • About the SSR Newsletter 
Other Document