oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Alternative dispute resolution: some points to ponder
The general response to the increasing isolation of the citizen from the law for financial rasons, has been proposals for institutional and procedural reform, and the introduction of devices such as legal aid and small-claims courts. These schemes aim at increased accessibility to justice for the man in the street and the making of law more applicable to, and meaningful for, him. However, another and more radical response begins with the assumption that because of the problems associated with it, litigation is declining in importance in the eyes of the citizen. This response is less concerned with the existing legal process and concentrates rather on the creation of new institutions operating in a less formal manner, providing "participant justice" in relatively inexpensive forms, in locations more accessible to those involved. This response is generally known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and requires further examination. In this article a specific working example of ADR is analysed, followed by a number of issues which jurists will have to consider.
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