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Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape


Children and informal justice systems in Africa

Publication title information

Sloth-Nielsen, Julia (2018). 'Children and informal justice systems in Africa’ . In M Brinig (ed) International Survey on Family Law (Intersentia, Cambridge)

Further detail

Publication type
Books and chapters
This chapter draws from a larger study titled ‘Achieving child-friendly justice’ in Africa. The study aimed to assess the state of child friendly justice in Africa. Part of the work sought to explore the extent to which children encounter informal justice systems in juvenile justice, child protection, family law matters, and as victims of criminal off ences. Although reflecting mostly on the paucity of literature available, the work was bolstered by seven country studies which were undertaken in parallel with the preparation of the main work, which contribute to the understanding of children’s contact with informal justice systems. The characteristics of informal justice processes are discussed, as well as the reasons for communities’ continued reliance on them, in preference to formal justice systems. The challenges facing the implementation of children’s rights principles in informal justice processes is scrutinised.
About the author/s

Julia Sloth-Nielsen

Julia Sloth-Nielsen is Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape and the chair of Children’s Rights in the Developing World at the Child Law Department at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

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