Harmonization of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland
The last several decades have seen a change in the legal landscape relating to land in Puntland and Somaliland. Traditionally, both regions have consisted primarily of large swaths of rural and agricultural land, owned in common by clans and subclans in accordance with customary law. While the customary system is also capable of recognizing individual rights and grievances of members of the community in question, it remains primarily accessible to male members of the majority clan.
Though women from both minority and majority clans report that the customary system is often inaccessible to or biased against them, the community at large perceives it as more trustworthy and less prone to undue influence than the courts.
Decisions made through the customary system also tend to be fast and efficient. This report discusses the Land Dispute Tribunals in Somaliland and the Land Dispute Resolution Committees in Puntland. The LDTs are intended to be hybrid institutions capable of harnessing benefits from both the formal and the customary system.