Litigating for Peace: The Impact of Public Interest Litigation in Divided Societies
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Peacebuilding efforts are ongoing around the globe today. However, in societies that have transitioned out of conflict and have a strong judiciary, potential exists to use innovative techniques to assist in those efforts. Termed divided societies, these countries which have conflict simmering under the surface may benefit from public interest litigation as a tool for peacebuilding in the region. As peacebuilding and public interest litigation share many of the same goals, litigation may be able to assist the society to more sustainably transition from a culture of conflict to a culture of peace. This paper details current scholarship on public interest litigation, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconstruction, provides research findings of best practices for litigating from Northern Ireland and South Africa, and discusses the efficacy and limitations of public interest litigation as a tool for peacebuilding.