Urban residents are often confronted with a plurality of laws and court processes. This panel asks how they encounter and renegotiate law in practice. It also asks how experiences of justice in urban domains impacts imaginaries and processes of law, justice and authority in rural home communities.
Urban residents in Africa are often confronted with a plurality of legal actors, public authorities and processes concerned with justice, including state judiciaries and , customary, community or people's courts. Urban centres bring a spatial and political proximity to statutory justice. In contexts of urban displacement, international actors may also become involved in the administration of justice. . Urban contexts also give rise to new dilemmas for the law to govern as well as shifting social, moral and legal values, including humanitarian imaginings. In these contexts, laws and configurations of legal authority are being remade. Power is not just projected from the centre, but is also constructed in daily, local struggles. How are legal regimes being (re)made in urban spaces? Do these contests take a distinct form in urban settings? How does this change the provision of justice and security in these urban spaces? How have people reimagined power in urban spaces through the law and justice provision? Plus, are practices of justice in urban spaces affecting relationships with law and public authority back in rural domains? Does this construct or erase a division between the urban and rural? Urban spaces also include encampments of migrants from conflict such as refugee camps. Do these urban / quasi-urban spaces have distinct experiences of contested justice?