Craig McEwen - Solving Problems, Resolving Disputes and Finding Justice

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Historian Jerold Auerbach argued in 1983 that "where community ends, law begins" and critiqued "misguided enthusiasm for alternative dispute resolution" while remaining skeptical about whether law produces justice. In this seminar, we affirm and challenge parts of Auerbach's analysis in the light of contemporary challenges of legal systems and courts, changing notions of community, and innovative forms and uses of conflict resolution. We look at ways that "dispute resolution" techniques have been used to build relationships on individual and communal levels in the aftermath of systemic violence. We review research about what people understand justice to be. In examining these and other examples and issues, we reflect on the complex relationships between solving problems, resolving disputes and finding justice.

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