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NCJ Number: 162816 Find in a Library
Title: Development of Tribal Courts: Past, Present, and Future
Journal: Judicature  Volume:79  Issue:3  Dated:(November-December 1995)  Pages:147- 149
Author(s): J A Myers; E Coochise
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Tribal courts have not received the attention and support needed to make them a strong productive institution of tribal government, although positive changes are occurring.
Abstract: Tribal courts were originally created in the late 19th century and operated under rules created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. American Indians on many reservations continued to resolve serious dispute among themselves outside these courts, using traditional sanctions such as restitution, banishment, payment to a victim or the victim's heirs, and vengeance. Since the Indian Reorganization Act of the 1930's, a clear trend has been for tribes to develop legal codes and convert from the earlier courts to tribal courts operating under tribal sovereignty. In the mid- 1960's, Federal policy moved toward self-determination, but the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 limited tribal courts and imposed due process requirements. In February 1991, Senator John McCain introduced the first in a series of tribal court enhancement bills. Congress passed the Indian Tribal Justice Act in December 1993, but tribal courts have not yet received any benefits under the law. Funding for these courts should be transferred to the Department of Justice, which has made substantial efforts, with minimal funds, to address issues concerning Indian tribal court systems and to assist in improving interaction among tribal, State, and Federal court systems. The recent improvements are resulting from cooperative communication among the Federal, State, and tribal judiciaries. In addition, myths are being discarded, working relationships are being established, and resources are being shared. Photograph and footnotes
Main Term(s): Tribal court system
Index Term(s): American Indians; Criminology; Indian affairs; Indian justice; Intergovernmental relations; Jurisdiction; Tribal history
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