skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 77272 Find in a Library
Title: Highways and Byways of Legal Resolution
Author(s): L H Cooke
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 17
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This address, prepared by New York's Chief Judge, explores alternatives to the courts and to conventional adjudicative methods.
Abstract: Alternatives to the courts and to conventional adjudicative methods must be selected and developed if the structure of justice based on a court foundation is to survive. Courts alone CANNOT continue to respond to the demands placed on them. Turning first to the civil areas of dispute, three distinct subcategories for alternative treatment may be identified. These subcategories include different modes of recovery established by legislative action for certain types of injury or damages, measures operating within the traditional court outline designed to eliminate or reduce court time, and measures taken prior to RESORTING to the courts and operating outside of them. Legislators can enact changes in substantive law so as to reduce court system pressures by either removing some disputes from the courts or by simplifying court processing (e.g., no fault divorce statutes). Other methods have been introduced in some jurisdictions. For example, in Michigan a special procedure combines mediation with economic inducement for tort cases where liability is not at issue, commencing when a panel of three receives documentary evidence and recommends a settlement. With respect to civil disputes generally, complex issues must be eliminated from the litigation scheme, legal rights must be simplified, and more diversion of disputes from the court system must occur. In the criminal field, rising crime rates and overcrowded detention facilities necessitate the implementation of alternatives to formal criminal justice processing and conventional forms of punishment. The incorporation of a mediation or arbitration model into the criminal justice system instead of the adjudicative model has been suggested. This approach offers greater flexibility in factfinding and discipline imposition, informality, humaneness, speed, and economy. For offenders diverted out of the criminal justice system (when an alternative to arrest is chosen), community courts and mediation forums offer another avenue for dispute resolution. Finally, decriminalization of certain conduct and reclassification of some crimes to lesser offenses could also be considered. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Arbitration; Civil proceedings; Civil remedies; Court reorganization; Criminal proceedings; Decriminalization; Dispute processing; Dispute resolution; Law reform; Retail business crimes
Note: Address given at the New York County Lawyers' Association, New York, New York, March 19, 1981 (Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.