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Speeches Shim

June 3, 2020

In Somalia, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is one of several approaches to improve access to justice following the collapse of state institutions and the civil war in 1990-92, as it addresses both transitional justice and is a supplement to formal statutory justice. ADR often denotes the use of customary justice processes as alternatives to fledging statutory court systems, involving clan (tribal) elders and inter-clan agreements (known as xeer in Somalia).

March 25, 2020

One of the thematic areas selected as a result of the inception phase analysis of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Expanding Access to Justice Program in Somalia (EAJ) was a focus on land disputes and grievances in Mogadishu. Disputes often start with the aggrieved parties addressing the elders in traditional institutions and may even end at the Supreme Court. However, at the same time, in the urban environment, elders often lack the mandate and power to resolve these issues and the judiciary plays a very small role in actually solving land disputes. Even where judgments are delivered, the police have shown little capacity to enforce them.

March 12, 2020

Over the past two decades, justice sector development has undergone an enormous transformation. The community of practice has broadly accepted that most ‘top-down’approaches to reform have been unsuccessful at improving institutional functionality or access to justice for marginalized or vulnerable populations. In response,the community has shifted its focus towards locally-driven reforms,centered upon improving service delivery and empowering end users. Rolling out such approaches in Islamic jurisdictions such as Somalia, however, has proven complicated. Shari’ah principles can sit in tension with internationally accepted justice norms,which has confronted practitioners with questions on the acceptability of engaging with systems that do not always conform to human rights standards.

March 5, 2020


While Somalia is working to create more inclusive political institutions, few citizens have participated in a direct election in their lifetimes.  The planned 2020 elections will be the first direct elections in fifty years. These elections are critical to shifting Somalia away from a clan-based political system to one that gives voice to marginalized communities, internally displaced, women, and youth.

February 25, 2020

02.19.20 - Desert Locust Infestation in Somalia DD Map