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The healing and community justice policy of the judicial branch of the Navajo Nation

Yazzie, Robert
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Remarks of the Honorable Robert Yazzie, Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation, presented at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, on 1 May. Downloaded 3 September 2004.

According to Robert Yazzie, the Navajo Nation courts are unique in that they have traditional and modern adjudication systems side-by-side. These courts were founded in 1959 on the Western model of statutes and rules of procedure. In 1982 they began to revive and employ Navajo peacemaking, the traditional Navajo system of justice. Yazzie describes in some detail this Navajo approach to healing and community justice, and how it is structured and used in the Navajo judicial system. He further compares this to other alternative approaches to crime, including restorative justice, community justice, and specialized courts.


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