New Report on Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment

Leiden University and IDLO has partnered to produce a new report Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment. Very timely because customary legal systems have slowly gained importance over the last few years, and has usually been the first and last stop for justice for the poor and vulnerable. 

This edited volume explores the relationship between traditional justice and legal empowerment. It discusses key aspects of traditional justice, including the rise of customary law in justice sector reform, the effectiveness of hybrid justice systems, access to justice through community courts, customary law and land tenure, land rights and nature conservation, and the analysis of policy proposals for justice reforms based on traditional justice. The volume was developed in partnership with the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development of Leiden University and features articles by some ten leading authors, country specialists and practitioners working in the areas of traditional justice and legal empowerment.

Top Human Rights Groups and Global Networks: A Primer

Microblogged from DevEx- one of my main sources of development information, on its list of what it considers to be the most renowned international organizations and networks focused on the promotion of human rights.:

The basic principles of human rights are ancient, but it’s only in the last 50 years or so that human rights organizations have begun to pop up. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, includes education, health care, food and many other areas of focus for the international development community. It’s no wonder, then, that aid groups are increasingly framing their work in the context of human rights, whether they advocate for sex workers’ rights or help boost primary school attendance. Highlighting human rights can broaden the scope and appeal of global activism and advocacy campaigns – and it may help secure funding at a time it is increasingly difficult to come by.

Berkman Center Series 11 July 2011: Cultivating New voices, Approaches, and Audiences for national - and international - reporting in an era of global interconnectedness and shrinking news budgets

The Berkman Center will host a conversation about the challenges of reporting international stories to US and Global audiences. In an age of shrinking news budgets, American newspapers and broadcasters are producing less original reporting of international stories. And while gripping events like the Arab Spring capture the attention of the public, many important international stories fail to garner widespread attention. The challenges for international reporting are both ones of supply (who reports the news from around the world?) and demand (who pays attention?).

This conversation was inspired by Berkman Fellow Persephone Miel, whose work focused on how compelling narrative and context for international stories could make unfamiliar international news more accessible to American and global audiences. Her efforts to support and promote talented local, non-US journalists whose work has the potential for global impact, but who need to overcome significant obstacles to succeed, are continued through a fellowship established in her honor by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, in partnership with Internews. Journalists Fatima Tlisova (Voice of America) and Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede will join Ethan Zuckerman (Berkman Center/Global Voices), Colin Maclay (Berkman Center), Ivan Sigal (Global Voices), Jon Sawyer (Pulizter Center) and the Miel family for a discussion and reflection on these questions, and on Persephone's work and the journalistic values she championed. URL: