Taş, Latif

One State, Plural Options: Kurds in the UK

After three decades of living in their new home, Kurds in the UK have progressed from being a ‘victim diaspora’ into becoming more organised, and capable of meeting the diverse needs of their community. Most UK-based Kurds refuse to use the official legal system to settle their disputes, at least initially. Instead, they prefer to resolve their disputes within the community, and for this purpose, they have recreated their own hybridised customary justice system, consisting of the Kurdish Peace Committee (KPC). This more organised system is a first for Kurds, and is involved in the settlement of cases as diverse as family disputes and minor criminal cases. This article examines how and why this community prefers to solve their disputes themselves instead of approaching the police or courts. This work also includes a discussion of Kurdish society, including its historical pluralistic experience, reasons for its members’ emigration from Turkey and their ethnic reconstruction in the UK. A selection of case studies are used to illustrate how this body has helped to resolve some disputes, to develop Kurdish customs and traditions under different circumstances, and to act as a bridge between the official legal system of the British society and Kurdish values and norms.

See the article here.


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