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Navajo Restorative Justice: The Law of Equity and Harmony.

Yazzie, Robert
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 157-174.

In 1982, the Navajo Nation established Navajo Peacemaker Courts; respected community leaders organize and preside over traditional Navajo process to resolve disputes. This paper describes this process. If one person believes they’ve been wronged by another they will first make a demand for the perpetrator to put things right. If this is not successful, the wronged person may turn to a respected community leader to facilitate and organize a peacemaker process. The process is not confrontational but involves family and clan members of victims and perpetrators talking through matters to arrive at a solution. The process ends in an action plan to solve the problem. The plan often involves reparation. Peacemaking is designed to resolve problems among people and is not concerned about imposing punishment.


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