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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93210 Find in a Library
Title: Community Courts - Offering Alternative Dispute Resolution Within the Judicial System
Journal: Vermont Law Review  Volume:3  Dated:(1978)  Pages:1-69
Author(s): J C Cratsley
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 69
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article clarifies what goals or values would be served by establishing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (ADRM's) at the neighborhood level and then details how such a forum would work as part of the judicial branch of government.
Abstract: The five groups of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms reviewed are less formal adjudication (specialized courts, arbitration, and screening), fact-finding, diversion, mediation, and information and referral. The aforementioned mechanisms are alternatives to formal, adversarial court processing. The touted benefits of the ADRM's are the likelihood that ADRM's will reduce the burden on the courts, the possibility of reducing the need for costly attorneys, development of better truth-finding techniques, enhancement of community participation in local affairs, and a more efficient and effective resolution of citizen grievances. The discussion of these expected benefits argues that each of these goals is not only difficult to attain but is countered by serious considerations of opposing values. The outcome is a preference for ADRM's within the judicial framework, and the model for a community court is presented. The working model for operating a variety of ADRM's within the judicial framework has three basic components: selection and screening of disputants, free access to a fair trial, and discretionary dispositions emphasizing the alternatives. Free access, free choice, and individualized results are the hallmarks of the model. A concern with customer satisfaction along several dimensions, including responsiveness, simplicity, and durability of results, is the theoretical basis for success. A total of 150 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Arbitration; Mediation; Neighborhood justice centers
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