By Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt, Tess Newton
With their wealthy traditions of clash answer and peacemaking, the Pacific Islands offer a fertile setting for constructing new ways to crime and clash. Interactions among formal justice structures and casual equipment of dispute answer include invaluable insights for coverage makers and others attracted to socially attuned resolutions to the issues of order which are came upon more and more within the Pacific Islands as in different places. participants to this quantity comprise Pacific Islanders from Vanuatu, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea together with Bougainville, in addition to outsiders with a longstanding curiosity within the area. they arrive from various backgrounds and comprise felony justice practitioners, students, conventional leaders and neighborhood activists. The chapters care for clash in quite a few contexts, from interpersonal disputes inside groups to large-scale conflicts among groups. this can be a ebook not just of reports but in addition of useful types that mix varied traditions in artistic methods and that provide the possibility of establishing extra sustainable resolutions to crime and clash.
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Additional info for A Kind of Mending: Restorative Justice in the Pacific Islands
My argument here is that while all societies have both restorative and retributive traditions on which they have drawn productively in the past, today their restorative traditions are likely to have comparatively more value than their retributive traditions. We can therefore conceive of a global social movement for restorative justice as one that encourages people to retrieve within their cultures those restorative traditions which have so often become overly suppressed by traditions of retribution whose negative force engendered ever more pernicious cycles of hurt begetting hurt.
The question of a state’s relations to its wider society and the extent to which these might themselves be a source of its 31 32 a kind of mending limited capacity is rarely raised. At the same time, it is clear that a large part of the weakness of state institutions in the Melanesian countries, including the formal justice system, is as much a consequence of their limited legitimacy, as it is a shortage of resources, ‘technical’ or otherwise. Strengthening the capacity of the formal justice system requires that priority be given to improving relations with the wider society it exists to serve.
Shortage of resources has nevertheless affected the performance of lower courts that deal with the majority of cases involving ordinary citizens. Papua New Guinea’s Village Courts provide a good illustration of both the advantages and the limitations of attempts to institutionalise informal approaches to dispute resolution. 25 They are by far the busiest courts in the sheer volume of cases dealt with and remain the most accessible forum for dealing with minor disputes. 27 Given that Village Courts usually operate alongside a number of unofficial community-based forums, many villagers expect them to be more formal in character.