Community-Based Dispute Resolution
“CBDR is practiced by village and district actors, at times in conjunction and at times in opposition, and is a mélange of village custom, state and local understandings of Sharia law, state law and procedure, and what might be called ‘district custom.’”
AREU began researching community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) in Afghanistan in 2006, with the goal of increasing knowledge of local mechanisms, practices and principles to support contextually informed justice sector reform across the country.
Research was conducted in Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Balkh and Kabul Provinces. The case studies explore: who has power in CBDR and how they exercise it; the processes and relationships that link CBDR with state justice; the practices, principles and outcomes of CBDR and how these change depending on political, social and security contexts; and gender dynamics regarding CBDR. The research identified various mechanisms, differences among regional practices, resolution principles from the general to the highly specific, and differing relationships between formal and non-state dispute-resolution bodies. Prior to this work, relatively little has been written about how community-based dispute resolution processes operate, particularly in recent years, and little of this was based on in-depth data collection at the village or community level.