On 10 October, staff and students joined Dr Rachel Ibreck, lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths to celebrate the launch of her book – South Sudan’s Injustice System: Law and Activism on the Frontline – with a panel discussion at SOAS, University of London. The panel included Benjamin Avelino (South Sudanese community leadership UK in Europe), Matt Benson (Conflict Research Programme, LSE), and Prof. Alex de Waal (World Peace Foundation, Tufts University), and was chaired by Mawan Muortat (South Sudan political analyst).
Rachel’s book argues that legality matters intensely in South Sudan, the world’s newest ‘fragile’ state. Plural and competing laws and authorities have governed throughout the atrocious civil war since 2013. South Sudanese people have been subjugated by legal practices, with colonial and authoritarian roots. Yet in the midst of a protracted violent conflict, people still turn to accessible ‘customary’ courts, and South Sudanese legal activists strive to make a more humane legal order from below, using social networks and cultural resources to respond to injustices. The struggles in courts and prisons are revealing about the power of law, and the possibilities for transforming violent conflict. More information on the book can be found here: