Court in Between: The Spaces of Relational Justice in Papua New Guinea

Melissa Demian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article considers local-level disputing in Papua New Guinea by bringing two theories into play: spatial justice, borrowed from the geographical turn in legal theory, and relational justice, from the anthropology of law. Disputes negotiated by means of the countrys village courts system are sometimes characterised by metropolitans as institutions that dispense peace instead of justice. I argue, through a comparison of contemporary and historical examples from local disputing processes, that village courts do exercise a form of justice, but it is not a justice of closure or peace. Rather, it is the justice of opening the space of relations between disputing parties, as a technique of recognising the ongoing potential of such relations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-30
    JournalThe Australian Feminist Law Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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