When Legal Worlds Overlap: Human Rights, State and Non-State Law

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International Council on Human Rights Policy
October 2009
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This International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) report is written for human rights advocates and policy-makers who find themselves in contexts where a specific dispute or subject matter is governed by multiple norms, laws or forums that co-exist within a single jurisdiction.

Plural legal orders occur in numerous circumstances: for example, where different family laws apply to specific ethno-cultural groups, where customary dispute resolution mechanisms operate without state sanction, where non-state legal orders (such as chiefs’ courts) are officially recognised, or where quasistate legal orders (such as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms) are established.

© 2009 International Council on Human Rights Policy. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording and/or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher.