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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:People's courts?
Authors:Grant, Brenda
Schwikkard, Pamela-JaneISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Geographic term:South Africa
Subject:popular justice
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.1991.11827845
Abstract:For the purpose of this article the term people's courts is used to refer to the many types of informal courts existing outside the formal legal structures, but it does not include uncontrolled mob action or 'self-help' violence. People's courts are a common phenomenon in societies undergoing profound transformation. They arise partly because the formal legal system cannot meet the needs of ordinary citizens. With the demand for access to justice comes the demand for popular participation in the legal process. This article first looks at the reasons for the emergence of people's courts in South Africa. Then it describes the goals and practices of these courts and examines whether they facilitate access to justice. Finally, it considers some selected proposals relating to community courts and evaluates several aspects of these proposals, in particular those relating to the racial composition of people's courts, their jurisdiction, procedure, and the content of the law to be applied. Notes, ref.