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The Use of Custom and Legal Tradition in the Modern Justice Setting

Zion, James W
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Contemporary Justice Review v.1: 133-148

This article discusses the revival of traditional Indian law and the traditional laws of indigenous peoples in various parts of the world. It contrasts the dynamics of traditional Indian and indigenous law with western justice methods to show the “vertical” or hierarchical foundations of western justice as compared with “horizontal” or egalitarian methods. There is an overview of state law approaches to indigenous law, including assimilative institutions and recognition policies. The article recommends contemporary recognition approaches to traditional customs and legal traditions, using inherent court powers and other methods to acknowledge the existence and persistence of the laws of indigenous peoples as part of the contemporary restorative justice movement.


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