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NCJ Number: 91565 Find in a Library
Title: Homicide Compensation in Papua New Guinea - Problems and Prospects
Author(s): R Scaglion
Corporate Author: Papua New Guinea Law Reform Cmssn
Papua New Guinea
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 109
Sponsoring Agency: Papua New Guinea Law Reform Cmssn
Papua New Guinea
Sale Source: Papua New Guinea Law Reform Cmssn
P O Wards Strip
Papua New Guinea
Language: English
Country: Papua New Guinea
Annotation: The collection of papers on homicide compensation represents reactions by social scientists to a draft 'anti-excessive compensation' bill prepared by the Law Reform Commission of Papua New Guinea. The bill is designed to support informal dispute settlement procedures and to give recognition to compensation arrangements while controlling the compensation amount.
Abstract: Compensation is a form of conflict management in Malanesian societies whereby an aggrieved party demands payment from another party. Payment, which is proportionate to the severity of the act and the magnitude of the dispute, signals termination of the disagreement. The call for legal reform in this area resulted from recent reportedly excessive demands, particularly for homicide in the Highlands. Payments have tended to aggravate rather than remedy disputes when large cultural groups are involved and payment must be equally distributed within the tribe. Eight papers on the subject discuss the potential effects of the compensation law in various regions. The first paper shows that compensation is part of a social reciprocal exchange system in the Hagen area, but suggests that maximum payments might tend to become standard rates, encouraging inflated compensation. Papers on the Simbu area and Toaripi tribe question the advisability of legislation as compensation does not play a major role in settling disputes and may create new problems. Papers on the Huli and Kamano point out the dangers of trying to legislate in an area dominated by complex tribal practices. Still other papers argue that compensation cannot solve large-scale interaction problems, and that mobility and migration further complicate 'fair' payment distribution. The final paper on the general issue as of 'blood money' questions whether government can regulate payments at all in the existing complex of social variables. General conclusions are that excessive compensation is not widespread and that compensation is too complex a phenomenon to be resolved with hasty legislation. Notes, references, and tables are included with the separate papers.
Index Term(s): Dispute resolution; Homicide; Papua New Guinea; Victim compensation
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