The Role of Community in an Alternative Mediation Forum in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea: Legal Innovation Part 2
This In Brief contributes to a discussion of access to justice, and legal practices in Papua New Guinea. It continues from Melissa Demian's In Brief 2014/24: Innovation in Papua New Guinea's Village Courts: Exceeding Jurisdiction or Meeting Local Needs? Legal Innovation: Part 1. While conducting fieldwork in West New Britain Province, I have been investigating the current legal practices of the Village Courts, as well as identifying any alternative dispute forums present in the palm oil region of Bialla. What is evident in my research so far, is the clear distinction that is made between different dispute forums by individuals in Bialla, despite both venues sharing many commonalities of practice. Focussing on a case of adultery within a local dispute forum, this In Brief highlights the use of mediation outside of the courts to settle disputes, and what this alternative legal access means for the community.