A Kind of Mending: Restorative Justice in the Pacific by Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt, Tess Newton

By Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt, Tess Newton

With their wealthy traditions of clash solution and peacemaking, the Pacific Islands offer a fertile atmosphere for constructing new techniques to crime and clash. Interactions among formal justice structures and casual equipment of dispute solution comprise necessary 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 other places. participants to this quantity contain 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 quite a few backgrounds and contain felony justice practitioners, students, conventional leaders and group activists. The chapters care for clash in various contexts, from interpersonal disputes inside of groups to large-scale conflicts among groups. this can be a ebook not just of news but in addition of sensible versions that mix assorted traditions in inventive methods and that provide the chance of establishing extra sustainable resolutions to crime and clash.

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Local Courts were also given unlimited jurisdiction in customary land matters subject to appeals to Customary Land Appeals Courts. 22 Lawyers are excluded from proceedings. Island Courts administer kastom prevailing in their area so far as it is not in conflict with any written law or contrary to justice, morality and good order. 23 Shortly after independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea established a system of Village Courts. The primary role of these courts is to ‘ensure peace and harmony’ and endeavour to obtain ‘amicable settlement of disputes’ and apply custom ‘as determined in accordance with the Native Customs (Recognition) Act of 1963’ (Village Courts Act).

To this end, Ratuva introduces the Fijian practice of veisorosorovi as a possible model that could be adapted for this purpose. Veisorosorovi helped promote social stability and peace in indigenous Fijian communities by reconciling parties to conflict and is a process with distinctly restorative characteristics. It is conducted through a formal ceremony and involves reciprocal an introduction presentations between the parties using traditional items such as tabua (whale’s tooth) and yaqona (kava).

Responding to pain with ‘another spoonful of pain’1 is seen as a less satisfactory response than responding with healing or repair. A reason is that hurt tends to beget hurt, creating a vicious spiral of retribution and feuding. Alternatively, it is possible to flip this dynamic into one of healing begetting healing — a virtuous circle. 2 The active part of this value is empowerment. Empowerment means preventing the state from ‘stealing conflicts’3 from people who want to hang on to those conflicts and learn from working them through in their own way.

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