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The Navajo Peacemaker Court: Deference to the Old and Accommodation to the New

Zion, James W.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In, Nielsen, Marianne O. and Zion, James W., editors, Navaja Nation Peacemaking. Living Traditional Justice. The University of Arizona Press. Tucson pp.65-80

The Navajo Peacemaker Court is an experiment in blending the procedures of the Navajo common law with Anglo methods, and it is an attempt to see whether the best means of using Indian custom law is through the development of procedures for its use rather than through cataloging its substantive rules. This chapter presents the history of the beginning of the Navajo Peacemaker Court and a discussion of why it came into being. The Navajo judges who established the peacemaker court hoped to find an alternative to Anglo judicial methods by accommodating demands for the use of custom law. (excerpt)


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