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Community Dispute Resolution Structures

Schärf, Wilfred
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) University of Cape Town. Institute of Criminology.

Schärf questions the effectiveness and cultural compatibility of the western model of criminal justice. In this questioning, he points out the restorative aspects of the community dispute structures found in the poor neighborhoods of South Africa. These structures use the holistic approach from African traditionalism to resolve conflict, both civil and criminal. He compares these structures to the restorative measures used elsewhere such as family group conferencing, victim offender mediation, and community conferencing. He points out that these structures are more comprehensible for the lower classes and are seen as more fair. At the same time, Schärf does not call for a complete end to the current criminal justice system. He proposes more of a mixture with the court allowing more narrative testimony, creating the holistic feel of encounter.


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