Source: (1999) UCLA Law Review. 47: 1.

Donna Coker characterizes Navajo peacemaking as a type of informal adjudication. It is part of the effort to revitalize Navajo common law and traditional adjudicatory processes. A peacemaking process involves the disputing parties, members of the extended families of the disputants, and possibly members of the community. In this essay, Coker presents arguments for the potential use of peacemaking processes in cases of domestic violence. Women’s advocates have been skeptical of the application of informal processes to deal with men who abuse and women who are abused. In response, Coker claims that peacemaking can in fact effectively address some of the concerns that are of greatest importance to many battered women. To make her point, Coker analyzes current practice of peacemaking in the Navajo Nation to address the problem of battered women. She further explores the theoretical possibilities of peacemaking practice for domestic violence cases within the Navajo Nation and elsewhere.