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Home > Country profiles > Pakistan > Articles > Article detail

Negotiated justice and intermediaries

Saturday, 5th November 2017

"Politics of access to justice is determined by everyday client-patron relationships where influential intermediaries (tribal, territorial, religious, ethnic, familial, kinship, caste and social networks) tend to negotiate between both formal and informal institutions of justice, security and the client.

Thana (police station), Katchehry (court) and Patwarkhana (revenue office), particularly in rural setting of Pakistan, become empirical sites of venality and client-patron transactions whereby informal tools and tactics are deployed to engage, influence and placate the formal institutions of justice delivery and grievance redressal to achieve desired results. These transactions broadly shape the nature and direction of politics of justice at local levels.

Negotiations in this case could be supported and facilitated by social and economic transactions involving rent-seeking, bribe, exchange of social influence and reciprocity in kind or coin. Thus, the state-citizen as well as aggrieved-institution exchange in this context does not remain dyadic, direct and impersonal; instead this exchange is mediated and steered by the strength or weakness of socio-economic profile and clutch on supra-institutional social transactions of the parties, communities and individuals involved."

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Language: English
Contact: Amjad Bhatti

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