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Using Traditional Practices to Improve the Justice System
Indigenous justice practices and philosophies have been important in the development of restorative justice processes such as conferencing and circles. Increasingly, governments, development agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are realizing the potential of such traditional practices to meet the justice needs of marginalized populations, resolve issues of court backlogs, and to enable communities to own and resolve their own conflicts. In the Philippines, such problems are being resolved by enhancing traditional systems. Based on the use of mediation and conciliation by local elected leaders, the Barangay Justice System (BJS) is the focus of an NGO effort to provide access to justice and empower communities to participate in justice reform.
Located in Previous Editions / 2004 / June 2004 Edition
Tsuu T’ina Peacemaking Justice in Canada
Canada is a world leader in restorative justice in part because of the strong influence of its First Nations peoples. One initiative has been the development of three Canadian courts for use by First Nations peoples only. This article highlights one of those, which applies Tsuu T’ina peacemaking philosophy and circle processes to offending behaviour on the Tsuu T'ina Nation reserve
Located in Previous Editions / 2004 / August 2004 Edition
New Court for Aboriginal Youth
In late 2004, new legislation created a Children’s Koori Court in the Australian state of Victoria. The Children and Young Persons (Koori Court) Act 2004 augments 1989 legislation, which established specialized Children’s courts. With this new initiative, the government is attempting to create a less formal, more culturally relevant justice experience for young aboriginal offenders, their families, and community.
Located in Previous Editions / 2005 / February 2005 Edition
Incorporating Custom Law into State Law in Melanesia1
In this article, Pat Howley describes the revival of custom law in Bougainville and its importance in building peace.
Located in Previous Editions / 2007 / August 2007 Edition
South Australia: Nunga Court II – Aboriginal Sentencing Conferences
The Nunga Court of South Australia was established in 1999 to provide a culturally relevant sentencing option for Aboriginal offenders. 2005 legislation legitimizing the Nunga court required that victims be given the opportunity to participate in addition to the offender, elders, and community members. In response, the regional court in Port Lincoln is piloting an Aboriginal Sentencing Court incorporating elements of the Nunga Court model and restorative conferencing and sentencing circles from Canada. This article summarizes a paper by Dr. Andrew Cannon, Deputy Chief Magistrate and Senior Warden for South Australia, describing the new Aboriginal Sentencing Conferences. A link to the full paper is below.
Located in Previous Editions / 2007 / December 2007 Edition
RJ Article Penal Reform International. Rapport de la Recherche sur la Gacaca – PRI
The introduction of the Gacaca jurisdictions is generally considered to be the major element in efforts to date to achieve national reconciliation and justice in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide. The enormity of the challenge faced by the national government in resolving the cases of thousands of individuals charged with offences related to crimes of genocide or against humanity, during a period when the country is struggling to re-establish economic and social normality inside Rwanda and peace in the whole region, cannot be underestimated. The purpose of this report, produced by the PRI team at Kigali, is to inform and advise the planning and practice of the Rwandan authorities charged with this responsibility and also provide the international community with the data necessary for them to gauge progress and developments in Gacaca programme activities. (publisher's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Penal Reform International. Research Report on the Gacaca
During 2003 in Rwanda, a Presidential Decree ordered the provisional release of some categories of detainees. Around 22,000 persons were released from prison at the time. Their reintegration was achieved in two stages: first they spent some time in solidarity camps, and then they returned to the hills. To help prepare for the new releases being announced for the coming months, this report examines the conditions in which these two stages took place. (publisher's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Penal Reform International. Integrated Report on Gacaca Research and Monitoring
The goal of the research program conducted by PRI on the Gacaca jurisdictions in Rwanda since April of 2001 has been to provide objective data to the national authorities in charge of the process -initially the 6th Chamber of the Supreme Court and now the National Service of the Gacaca Jurisdictions- in an effort to support the design and implementation of these jurisdictions. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Penal Reform International. Monitoring and Research Report on the Gacaca
This report explores the challenges faced by the Rwandan national authorities during the information gathering phase of the Gacaca process. (publisher's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Penal Reform International. Rapport de monitoring et de recherche sur la gacaca
This report focuses on community service, a sentence issued by the Gacaca Courts which can replace up to half of the prison sentence for those perpetrators of genocide who voluntarily confessed to their actions. Community service is intended to be an opportunity for the perpetrators to provide practical help and assistance to the victims and their families, thus encouraging reconciliation and peaceful cohabitation amongst the two groups. Drawing on extensive field research and testimony from all those involved in community service in Rwanda, this report highlights the successes but also several areas of increasing concern surrounding this innovative tool of reconciliation. (publisher's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles