Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Criminal justice in Mali in crisis: Steps for improvement

12 Nov 2015 - 13:29

This report analyses the organisation and performance of the penal process in Mali. Its aim is to provide advice on how this process could be strengthened in ways that would enable it to act as a unifying element in Mali’s development by holding state and citizens accountable to the same standards of conduct.

Despite the shortcomings of a number of top-down reform efforts in the past, there seems to have been little variation or innovation in how the many challenges that plague the penal chain in Mali have been addressed programmatically.

It is for this reason that the report examines a number of recent innovations in development programming such as 'Thinking and Working Politically', the 'Theory of Change' concept and 'Systems Complexity', in addition to an in-depth analysis of the state of justice in Mali. It uses the resulting insights to develop elements of an innovative program to strengthen Mali’s penal chain. This offers a basis for further discussions between Malian and international stakeholders.

Key elements are to work on the basis of bottom-up, pilot-type programmes that enable learning and scaling, to focus on local improvements in the accessibility and quality of criminal justice, to also work collaboratively with ‘customary justice’ actors and civil society representatives - beyond the usual local state representatives of the penal process – and to monitor programme implementation jointly on the basis of behavioural change on the part of Malian stakeholders.