GovInn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga recently edited and contributed to the handbook, ‘Women in the Context of Justice: Continuities and Discontinuities in Southern Africa’. The handbook is aimed at civil society organisations on the roles and positions of women in ‘justice on the ground’ in Southern Africa. In this volume, they attempt to critically engage with the idea that community justice and leadership institutions are necessarily ‘patriarchal’ and explore what this means, and what the lived realities of people on the ground are.
GovInn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga published the article ‘What is “the Local”? Exploring grassroots justice systems as a means of understanding the local’ in Kujenga Amani.
Although a lot of lip-service is given to the concept of local ownership and agency in interventions related to peacebuilding and transitional justice, what is not always well understood is that the local is embedded in its own systems of norms and values that may differ significantly from those that provide the basis for international interventions and national reforms.
This policy brief makes the case for the provision of more appropriate support to the mechanisms and forms of justice practiced in communities by people at the grassroots during periods of transition, instead of looking at how to integrate informal justice systems into the existing normative transitional justice framework
Read the full policy brief below.9421 UP ISPA Policy Brief HR
GovInn’s Research Fellow Ruth Murambadoro presented at the HagueTalks on peace and justice.
HagueTalks is a platform that encourages critical debates about peace and justice. It is a breeding ground where creative minds, peace innovators and game changers gather to share ideas on how to advance peace and justice in various communities. On the 13th of June 2017 our Emerging Scholar Ms Ruth Murambadoro graced the stage at HagueTalks and shared her views on the topic of the day, How to get inclusive justice?. Ms Murambadoro believes that inclusive justice begins when we are able to understand that a human being is a spirit being that exists in a cosmological society comprising of the ‘living-living’, the ‘living-dead’ and the ‘living unborn’. She shared that when an injustice occurs it does not only hurt the physical body because the pain goes deep inside and destroys the spirit being. If one wants to make amends or retain the balance where there has been an imbalance, there is need to ensure that they do not only attend to the physical wounds but address the spirit because a human being is a living spirit. Therefore as a living spirit, justice is an all-encompassing process where you make sure you attend to the psychosocial and the spiritual needs of the spirit being. Justice is not a one-size-fits-all, it has to be tailor made to ensure that it meets the needs of the people that are affected by conflict. Ms Murambadoro argued that we do not have to do justice for the state or international bodies because it is the individual that is affected. Hence, before we impose our solutions to a conflict situation, we ought to give more time to understanding the depth of the wound carried by the affected parties in order to provide justice that is deep enough to unpluck the root of the wound.
The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn), in association with the Department of Political Sciences, is delighted to invite you to a Roundtable Discussion on
Debating South Africa’s Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) with Professors Barney Pityana, Henning Melber, Siphamandla Zondi & Dire Tladi
The announced withdrawal of South Africa from the ICC, along with several other African states, has sparked a wide debate on the role and limitations of the Court. It has elicited a renewed focus on global governance institutions, including concerns over the limits and scope of such institutions.
This roundtable discussion assembles four eminent scholars to take stock of the arguments surrounding the status of the ICC and explores possible directions for its future. Discussion will touch on the perceived anti-African bias of the Court, its continued relevance on the continent and possible options for its renewal to strengthen global justice and the rule of law.
Barney Pityana is Professor emeritus of Law at the University of South Africa (Unisa). He is the retired Principal and Vice Chancellor of Unisa (2001-2010). He was member and Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (1995-2001), and a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1997-2003). He is an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.
Henning Melber is Extraordinary Professor at the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and the Centre for Africa Studies/University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. He is also Director Emeritus and Senior Advisor of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Senior Research Associate with The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden.
Siphamandla Zondi is a Professor at the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. Until recently, he spent 11 years working at the Institute for Global Dialogue, a prominent international affairs think tank. Before that, he served as a researcher on southern Africa and liberation movements at the Africa Institute of Africa.
Dire Tladi is a Professor of International Law at the University of Pretoria. He is also a Member of UN International Law Commission and Special Advisor to the Minister of International Relations. Her formerly served as Legal Counsellor of the SA Permanent Mission to the UN.
The roundtable will be moderated by GovInn Director, Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti.
Date: Thursday, 08 December 2016
Time: 16:00 – 18:00 (coffee and tea will be served from 15:30)
Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield)
RSVP essential: https://goo.gl/forms/QeH79BHjHAHOMEig2 by 07 December 2016.
[details for entering the campus will be sent to you before the event]
Project Summary: This comparative research project examines justice outside of the formal state systems, on the borders between countries and during transitions in Africa. In the past few decades, increasing amounts of attention and resources have been given to national reconciliation and transitional justice, as is evident in the increased inclusion of these in mediation processes and peace agreements. There are long and difficult debates between local governments and the international community concerning what mechanisms should be adopted, as was evident in, for example, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda and more recently, the Democratic Republic of Conogo, Burundi and Zimbabwe. Yet, a lot of uncertainty remains about these processes and mechanisms, how they work and their actual contribution to peacebuilding.
This project straddles the Transboundary Governance, Security Governance and Governance of the Commons axes of GovInn and addresses three major challenges to reconciliation and transitional justice:
- The lack of empirical research related to how particular national reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms impact peacebuilding in local communities
- The difficulty of balancing adherence to ‘international norms’ with the needs of local governments and communities
- The fact that many conflicts occur across borders whereas reconciliation and transitional justice is imagined only within the nation-state.
Junior researchers: Anthony Bizos, Chenai Matshaka, Rebeka Gluhbegovic, Zefanias Matsimbe
Funding: CODESRIA and the University of Pretoria’s Research Development Programme
Funding period: May 2015 – July 2019