Source: (1982) In: C. Sumner (ed.), Crime, Justice and Underdevelopment. Brookfield, VT: Gower, pp. 192-227.This study reviews the nature, operation, and impact of village courts in the Kerowagi area of the Simbu Province in the New Guinea Highlands. Court officials are villagers selected by the village. Customary village law and procedures are the basis for the courts' operation. The effective village court attempts to maintain community order village by punishing fighting, bad language, drunkenness, and gambling, particularly by juveniles. It also enforces women's social roles by making divorce difficult to obtain and by punishing unorthodox female behavior. Although the courts have maintained order in many villages, they are not operating effectively in all villages.