Source: (1981) International Journal of the Sociology of Law. 9: 245-67. Reprinted in Restorative Justice. Declan Roche (2003), ed. Pp. 407-429. The International Library of Essays in Law & Legal Theory, Second Series. Aldershot, Hants, England: Dartmouth/Ashgate.

This paper explores the professed reasons for interest in informal alternative to courts, develops a model of disputing in society that seeks to show the similarities between formal and informal legal institutions as modes of neutralizing conflict, and uses that model to assess the political significance of contemporary concern with information. (excerpt)