Somalia became independent from the UK and Italy in 1960. The Somali Civil War began in 1991, creating mass migration and total state collapse of all institutions. In 2004, a transitional government was established, and the current internationally recognized Federal Government of Somalia was inaugurated in 2012.

Forms of dispute resolution have been practiced in Somalia from time immemorial through the “Xeer” mediation or arbitration system. Xeer is the traditional legal system in Somalia that operates through the convening of traditional elders, one of three branches of the Somali legal system. (The other two branches are shariah and institutional judiciary.) These traditional elders are well respected and usually follow a set of precedence or consistent principles for each claim. Xeer is believed to pre-date Islam and became further reinforced, once Islam was introduced to the country.

Senior Fellow – Somalia

Maryan Hassan is a dual national of Somalia and the UK. She is the current Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession at the Office of the President, the youngest woman ever appointed, and former Chief Legal Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia.


Alternative Dispute Resolution in Somalia

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