Community Justice Systems in India – The Urgent Need to Revive Them

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Author: Shobhit Mathur

To cite this article:  Mathur, S. (2024) Community Justice Systems in India – The Urgent Need to Revive Them, Internet Journal of Restorative Justice. ISSN (online): 2056-2985 

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Abstract 

The Indian judicial system is on the verge of a collapse under a burgeoning and unsustainable case load. Several judicial reforms have been attempted in India to address this issue, yet access to justice seems elusive to many.  Most reforms have only focused on fixing the formal legal system and the traditional justice systems of India have been ignored. The traditional institutions have had the confidence of the people of India for several centuries. It is time to re-look at them and revive them. This article employs a rigorous phenomenological approach to study a sample restorative justice system in western India. This traditional system recently received legal backing and has been very successful in resolving disputes in a localized manner. Overall, the paper makes a compelling case for reviving traditional restorative justice systems in India through legislative support. This approach is novel and offers a sustainable solution to the judicial crisis that India faces. 

Keywords: community justice systems, restorative justice, customary law, formalizing informal systems, phenomenology, PESA, Indian tribes

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