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Substantial Justice

An Anthropology of Village Courts in Papua New Guinea

Michael Goddard

334 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-561-3 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (July 2009)

eISBN 978-1-84545-922-2 eBook


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“Because [Goddard’s excellent book] is rooted in ethnographies that are both thorough and comparative, it is for the most part convincing. To show that corruption is not a problem in these courts, he adds history to ethnography, demonstrating that magistrates maintained their integrity despite years of woefully inadequate pay… an outstanding defense of Village Courts’ policy and practices.” · Pacific Affairs

Papua New Guinea's village court system was introduced in 1974, partly in an effort to overcome the legal, geographical, and social distance between village societies and the country's formal courts. There are now more than 1100 village courts all over PNG, hearing thousands of cases each week. This anthropological study is grounded in ethnographic research on three different village courts and the communities they serve. It also explores the colonial historical background to the establishment of the village court system, and the local and global processes influencing the efforts of village courts to deal with everyday disputes among grassroots Melanesians.

Born in England, Michael Goddard now lives in Australia. He has carried out anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea since 1985 and is the author of The Unseen City: Anthropological Perspectives on Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Pandanus Books 2005). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Subject: General Anthropology
Area: Asia-Pacific

LC: KWH334 .G63 2009

BL: YK.2009.a.34462

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; LAW000000 LAW/General; HIS053000 HISTORY/Oceania

BIC: JHM Anthropology; HBJM Australasian & Pacific history




Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1. Colonial Law: An Extended Prelude to the Village Courts
Chapter 2. The Administration of Village Courts
Chapter 3. Village Courts on Trial
Chapter 4. Three Village Courts and their Social Environments
Chapter 5. Village Court Politics
Chapter 6. Pari Village Court in Action
Chapter 7. Konedobu Village Court in Action
Chapter 8. Erima Village Court in Action
Chapter 9. Between Groups and Individuals

Conclusion: The Local and the Global

Appendix: The Offical Range of Offences Heard by Village Courts

References
Index

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