Justice and security

Access to Justice in South Sudan


This policy brief assesses the rates of seven types of violent crime – cattle raiding, armed robbery, physical assault, murder, sexual assault, abduction and torture – in various parts of South Sudan and examines the choices that South Sudanese make when confronted with an instances of violent crime. The brief is structured in three sections. The first section provides an overview of existing justice systems in South Sudan. The second section provides information on crime incidence rates in the midst of conflict and in more stable settings. The third section provides detailed findings about the choices that people make when confronted with violent crimes. The conclusion summarizes the main findings and provides recommendations for how to cultivate demand for justice and ensure the available services are in line with user needs.

A key finding that emerges from this brief is that if properly supported and incentivized, victims of violent crime can be adept at securing favorable outcomes, even in very difficult circumstances characterized by large-scale conflict and weak justice systems. Efforts to build rule of law and improve access to justice should therefore focus on empowering people to actively seek out remedies while at the same time working to expand the geographic scope of justice services and ensure that they are responsive to user demands.

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