Participatory justice is the use of
alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, in criminal justicesystems, instead of, or before, going to court.Stephens, Gene, "Participatory justice: The politics of the future," " Justice Quarterly", March 1986, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 67-82(16), abstractfound at [http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/rjqy/1986/00000003/00000001/art00005 Ingenta Connect website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] [http://www.barreau.qc.ca/avocats/justice-participative/index.html?Langue=en Provincial Bar of Quebec (English-language version) official web site] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] It is sometimes called "community dispute resolution".New York State Unified Court System, "Alternative Dispute Resolution: Community Dispute Resolution Centers: Frequently Asked Questions", found at [http://www.nycourts.gov/ip/adr/faq.shtml New York State Unified Court System government website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.]
In rare cases, it also refers to the use of
The Internetor a television reality showto catch a perpetrator."Participatory justice," review, February 19, 2008, found at [http://www.connectsafely.org/nfn/netfamilynews/participatory-justice.html Connect Safely website] , citing Ganzer, Tony, "YouTube's Crime-Fighting Potential Put to Test," National Public Radio(NPR), found at [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18334702 NPR story from NPR offcial website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.]
Once used primarily in
Scandinavia, Asia, and Africa, participatory justice has been "exported" to the United StatesChristie, Nils, "Limits to Pain", "Chapter 11. Participatory justice," found at [http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/limits_to_pain/chapter11.html Prison Policy website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] [Calkins, Peter, andAlice Pell, "North-South partnerships," presentation, SEDPU (Sufficiency Economy, Participatory Develeopment, and Universities), 2003 conference, found at [http://www.sepdu.com/powerpoint/Session5_Calkins.pdf SEDPU website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] and Canada. Law Commission of Canada, "Towards Participatory Justice: A Focus on People and Relationships", [http://hdl.handle.net/10222/10291] , abstractfound at [http://dspace.dal.ca/dspace/handle/10222/10291 Dalhousie University Libraries website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] Conference brochure, "Participatory Justice in a Global Economy: The New Rule of Law?", October 2003, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, found at [http://www.ciaj-icaj.ca/english/community/Banff2003E.pdf Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] It is used in a variety of cases, including between " Landlords and Tenants, Neighbors, Parents and Children, Families and Schools, Consumers and Merchants ... [and] victims of crime and offenders."
It has been called "the ethical seal of a democratic society" by Jesuit
Friedhelm Hengsbach,Hengsbach, Friedhelm (S.J.), "Participatory Justice", essay, n.d., found at [http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/282037.shtml Portland Independent Media website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] and "the politics of the future." It is about "People and Relationships."
Some advantages of participatory justice are:
* It marks a society as ethical.
* It can be used to "right" wrongs.
* It is an alternative to the lack of "public confidence and participant satisfaction in the adversarial justice system", which has lead to "inconsistency and uncertainty, delay and alienation of the community" ....
* It is an alternative to "plea bargaining or dispositional justice"....
* It can "preserve good relations, particularly if the dispute involves neighbours or business contacts."
* It is "confidential, unlike court proceeedings."
* It applies
civil lawrather than criminal law.
* It is useful where "societies that lack a strong central power, where the State is a weak one, or where the State representatives are far away, people are forced not to apply force."
* It focuses on personal relationships.
* NGOs (
Non-governmental organizations) may get involved in the administration of criminal justice.
* It costs less than
Some disadvantages of participatory justice are:
* The motive is often "humiliation" of a party.
* It is used by people who are not trained in the collection of evidence.
* There are no "checks and balances" for
* [http://dspace.dal.ca/dspace/bitstream/10222/10291/1/Participatory%20Justice%20Report%20Pamphlet%20EN.pdf The Law Commission of Canada's "Towards Participatory Justice: A Focus on People and Relationships"]
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