To find third parties. Or other influential persons who can help the parties reach a decision.
A list of selected people to choose from: The Rwandese Abunzi system works with a list of 15 judges, each party can choose his own judge and they together choose the third to complete the panel that will adjudicate the case. These 15 members are chosen through an open election by the community.
Levels of influence: Among the Tumpuon people in Cambodia, if a negotiated solution price cannot be reached, a Kanong (first level facilitator) may become frustrated and stop the negotiations. S/he would then refer the parties to the Krak Phoang (second level facilitator. Any party can also stop the negotiation at any time by telling the Kanong that s/he will take the dispute to a Krak Phoang.
Choose a trusted expert: in Cambodia the idea is proposed by facilitators in the network of ZOA to look for someone from a respected organisation such as Buddhists for Development. (ZOA)
Mapping neutral people: Some facilitators in Cambodia make a map of the powerful people in the network of the unwilling party and explain the situation to the best positioned person to influence the party. The same could be done to identify the best neutral people to select (a) decision maker(s).
Integrate dispute resolution into the communities: In the refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border, elected section leaders are the first outpost of communal organization. Section leaders are the first to be called in almost all types of problems, including problems that might require legal solution. Similar functions are exercised by Umukuru in Rwanda.
Trust and respect: In Mali family disputes are often facilitated by "demarcheur" - the person who organized the marriage. If his intervention is unsuccessful, the parents of the man are expected to intervene in the dispute.
Village Court Magistrates in Papua New Guinea:
• Should be chosen by the people of the area
• Are officially appointed by the National Minister for Justice
• Are appointed for an indefinite period
• Can be suspended or dismissed by the National Minister for Justice for misconduct or incapacity
• Cannot be suspended or dismissed by a Local Council
• Can be women
Village Magistrates may be the older leaders in the village who have had little or no schooling or they may be younger, more educated people. This is of little importance. The main qualifications for Magistrates are a detailed knowledge of the people and customs of the area and being a respected and fair person. If a Magistrate does not have a detailed knowledge of custom it will be difficult for him or her to make decisions based on custom. At the very least a Magistrate should know who to ask about custom.
Village Courts Manual Papua New Guinea See link
When is third party decision-making needed?Sometimes, in mediation parties can not come to an agreement. Research has shown that the need for third party decision-making to solve a conflict is influenced by:
Lind, E.A. & Tyler, T.R. (1988).The Social Psychology of Procedural Justice. Plenum Press, New York.
Aspects of the legitimacy of third party decision-makers are:
Mackenzie, Ruth and Philippe Sands QC ‘Judicial Selection for International Courts: Towards Common Principles and Practices’ in Malleson, Kate and Peter Russell (eds.) Appointing Judges in an Age of Judicial Power: Critical Perspectives from Around the World 2006
Pruitt, D. G., & Kim, S. H. (2005). Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement, 3rd Edition. McGraw Hill, New York.
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