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Reform laws and regulate

Ideally, informal justice mechanisms should be established that effectively respond to violence against women and girls. At a minimum, state laws should ensure that the informal justice sector complies with international human rights standards on the rights of women and girls.  In many countries, informal justice mechanisms are recognized by law or in the constitution, but this recognition should specifically be contingent on judgments and practices not conflicting with fundamental human rights or non-discriminatory laws.  For example, Kenya’s Judicature Act recognizes customary law in “civil cases in which one or more of the parties is subject to it or affected by it, so far as it is applicable and is not repugnant to justice and morality or inconsistent with any written law….” (emphasis added).  Also, national governments often enact regulations that put constraints on how informal systems operate or that limit their jurisdiction. Litigating cases of human rights violations by informal mechanisms can be another way of ensuring that informal systems comply with human rights standards.

For more on Law Reform see that section in Programme Implementation.

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