Back to RJ Archive

A study on the content of Atayal traditional concepts of justice.

Chuen-Jim Sheu
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Crime and Criminal Justice International. 10(4).

Aboriginal literature have shown that aboriginals around the world usually
possess particular cultures, and used religion or tribal leaders to peacefully resolve
conflicts or crime. Braithwaite (1999) pointed out that, we ought to use restorative
justice model first to deal with crime, and then we can reduce the need to use
punitive or incapacitation justice model. There are two purposes for this study: to
investigate the content of Atayal traditional justice concept and to compare it with
other justice models.
This study used in-depth interview to collect data. Data were collected from 8
mediators or pastors or Atayal police officials working in Atayal communities. Data
analysis indicates that there is no concept of “crime” in the Atayal tradition, instead
a “wrong” in used. It is also found that the traditional Atayal justice is deeply influenced by the Atayal belief system of Gaga that there should be social harmony,
redemption and pursuit of absolute good in the handling of crime. This study also
found that there is no punitive element in Atayal concept of justice. The Atayal
traditional concept of justice is partially related to Reparatory Justice and Blood
Feud model. However, the Atayal traditional concept of justice is highly related to
the Restorative Justice. (authors’ abstract).


AbstractAsiaCourtsIndigenous JusticePolicePrisonsRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ TheoryStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now