'Maybe we should take the legal ways': Citizen engagement with lower state courts in post-war northern Uganda

Macdonald, Anna ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8873-003X, Cooper-Knock, S. J. and Hopwood, Julian (2022) 'Maybe we should take the legal ways': Citizen engagement with lower state courts in post-war northern Uganda. Law and Society Review. ISSN 0023-9216 (In Press)

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Lower state courts are the focus of both international and national access to justice policies and programmes but remain understudied in Uganda. Drawing on three years of ethnographically informed research on citizen engagement with a busy magistrates’ court in post-war northern Uganda, we show the diverse reasons why citizens appeal to the rule-of-law in places where state authority is contested. In a context of limited statehood, against a backdrop of high levels of corruption and inefficiency in the judicial system, people turn to lower state courts for normative, pragmatic, and tactical reasons that are not well captured by conventional measures of procedural justice. Our findings extend theory on citizen-authority relations in a global context, shedding light on contextual meanings of legitimacy, trust, and corruption in places where lower state courts are deeply problematic sites for achieving justice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Dorothy Atim, Jacky Atingo, Raphael Kerali, Joseph Okello and Arthur Owor for excellent research assistance on this project. We are extremely grateful to everyone who generously gave their time to participate in this research. We would also like to thank colleagues at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID), three anonymous reviewers, and the editors for such helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Our research was generously funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (SG150947) and the Centre
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 14:08
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 00:19
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/87641

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