In most post-conflict states, a strong level of legal pluralism is the norm, particularly in regions of Africa and Asia where between eighty and ninety per cent of disputes are resolved through non-state legal mechanisms. The international community, in particular the United Nations, persistently drives the re-establishment of the rule of law in war-torn areas where, traditionally, customary law is prevalent. Laura Grenfell traces the international community's evolving understanding of the rule of law in such regions and explores the implications of strong legal pluralism for the rule-of-law enterprise. Using the comparative examples of two unique case studies, South Africa and Timor-Leste, Promoting the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict States provides insight into the relationship between the rule of law and legal pluralism. Alongside these studies, the book offers a comprehensive introduction to the conceptual framework of the rule of law in the context of approaches taken by the international community.
Laura Grenfell is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where she teaches transitional justice, human rights, comparative constitutional law and public law.
Part I: 1. Introduction; 2. The globalised relationship between the rule of law and legal pluralism; 3. The conceptual relationship between the rule of law and legal pluralism in post-conflict states; Part II: 4. 'One law for one nation' - how the rule of law and legal pluralism figure in South Africa's constitutional dispensation; 5. Can the rule of law and legal pluralism assist 'the most vulnerable groups' in South Africa?; Part III: 6. Founding a legal system in post-conflict Timor-Leste; 7. Timor-Leste's first decade of independence; 8. Conclusion.