Colloquium: Potent(ial) Conflict: Dis/Empowering Restorative Justice Processes in Rural South Africa

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
Event Date: March 22, 2018 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3545

This is part of the Conflict Resolution Colloquium Series:

This presentation will discuss how the ways in which the traditional forums in rural South Africa deal with conflicts presented to them have a disempowering effect on the parties who bring their disputes to them, while in turn disempowering the forums themselves. In the process, the articulated goals of restorative justice, reconciliation and harmony are not met and the ever-present potential for more potent conflicts is escalated. While acknowledging the challenges inherent in the context, the possibilities for reversing this negative cycle and employing mutually empowering solutions to local conflict are canvassed as a way of beginning to reclaim the promise of restorative justice in rural South Africa, and perhaps beyond.

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks is Assistant Professor, Public Policy of Excluded Populations, in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where she previously served as a senior researcher in the Centre for Law and Society at UCT, and worked in the Rural Women’s Action Research Programme, combining research, advocacy and policy work on women, property, governance and participation under customary law and the South African Constitution. In 2013-2014, she was a resident scholar at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where she held a fellowship for the completion of a book that has since been published under the title, Access to Justice and Human Security: Cultural Contradictions in Rural South Africa (2018), as part of Routledge, Taylor and Francis’s Cultural Diversity and Law series.
 Dr. Mnisi Weeks received her DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar based at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. Prior to Oxford, she clerked for then Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke. She co-authored African Customary Law in South Africa: Post-Apartheid and Living Law Perspectives (2015), published by Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.