Access to justice, particularly for the poor and marginalized, is one of Nepal's longstanding needs. With post-war political transitional efforts failing to chart a steady course forward and transitional justice processes yet to commence, our programs on peacebuilding, alternate dispute resolution, and conflict management continue to meet the demand for justice at the local level. Compounded by poverty, inequality, and impunity, peace and stability in Nepal remain fragile. We are encouraging a peaceful political transition; enhanced women's rights and security; accountable local governance; and broadened economic opportunity. Read country overview.
IMPUNITY AND POLITICAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN NEPAL
"Impunity and Political Accountability in Nepal" is the fourth of a series of reports published by The Asia Foundation since 1999 that document impunity in Nepal.
Prior reports provided analyses of the causes and scale of impunity in the context of conflict and political instability during the late 1990s; political corruption and violation of human rights during 2004 - 2006; and the state of impunity prior to and immediately after Jana Anadolan II during 2006 -2010.
This report explores a range of political behaviors that can be understood as examples of impunity. It attempts to position impunity within the wider practice of politics and its intimate connection with the daily interactions of people in Nepal, between 2006 and 2013. The report's chapters examine the complex relationship between politics and law; the manner in which politicians and bureaucrats transgress or manipulate laws and norms to establish control over state institutions; the operations of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority; political protection and cultivation of criminal activity; the increase in politician-criminal ties after 2006; and a transitional justice process that will include prosecution as a means of combating impunity.
The case studies and analyses provided in this report convey a critical and constructive perspective on the status of impunity in post-conflict Nepal. Read the report here.
DEEPLY ROOTED SOURCES OF CONFLICT COULD DERAIL A FRAGILE PEACE
Encouraging a culture where all perspectives are considered
Most rural areas in Nepal suffer from an absence of any form of justice provision and dispute resolution. As a result, disputes are common, frequently recur, and go unresolved. Even in areas where there is access to justice, the high frequency of cases means that pursuing justice becomes expensive. Unresolved disputes affect social harmony. Interest-based, facilitated mediation in Nepal, pioneered by The Asia Foundation since 2000, has provided a community-level arena for Nepalis to respond to and address the underlying causes of local conflicts. The community mediation program acts as a mechanism to overcome obstacles causing social disharmony in areas that are remote, lack access to justice services, and suffer from high dispute rates. Mediation sessions transform long-held tensions among neighbors and families into cordial relationships based on equality, mutual respect, and participation; and disputants learn to respect other points of view. Last year, we expanded the program to 114 locations in 12 districts. For impact, we provided guidance to the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Supreme Court in developing mediation regulations, procedures, code of conduct, and other policy instruments required to implement the new Mediation Act.