The Dynamics of Justice Provision in the Context of Irregular Warfare and Legal Pluralism: Why a majority of the Afghan population in Kunduz continues to use informal justice despite international-led judicial reform
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In this thesis I examine the opportunity structures that help explain why a majority of the Afghan population in Kunduz continues to use informal justice provision, particularly when there has been claimed improvements of judicial reform by external actors. It is argued that the context of irregular warfare and legal pluralism shape an environment in which local political actors use justice provision as a strategic tool. State and non-state actors that possess territorial control or implement governance are also in the position to provide and implement justice outcomes. Justice outcomes of both formal and informal justice providers can effectively be influenced by disputants that are in possession of the relevant political connections and financial resources. Due to these opportunity structures, community members have strong incentives to use the justice provided by local political actors that possess territorial control or sufficient political capital. The provision of justice itself is used by local actors to maintain territorial control or increase political capital. As the efforts of the Dutch Integrated Police-training Mission in Kunduz mainly emphasised institution- and capacity building in the formal sector and the incorporation of informal procedures into state law, it is argued that the mission has insufficiently changed the relevant opportunity structures that shape the pre-dominant use of informal justice, and yielded limited results.