Participatory justice

Participatory justice is the use of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, in criminal justice systems, 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), abstract found at [ Ingenta Connect website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] [ 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 [ New York State Unified Court System government website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.]

In rare cases, it also refers to the use of The Internet or a television reality show to catch a perpetrator."Participatory justice," review, February 19, 2008, found at [ Connect Safely website] , citing Ganzer, Tony, "YouTube's Crime-Fighting Potential Put to Test," National Public Radio (NPR), found at [ 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 [ 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 [ SEDPU website] . Accessed July 15, 2008.] and Canada. Law Commission of Canada, "Towards Participatory Justice: A Focus on People and Relationships", [] , abstract found at [ 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 [ 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 [ 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 law rather 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 civil litigation.


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 vigilantes.

ee also

* Citizens' jury
* Community x-change
* Internet 2.0
* Participatory democracy
* Participatory economics
* Public engagement
* Victimology


External links

* [ The Law Commission of Canada's "Towards Participatory Justice: A Focus on People and Relationships"]

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