• Bush Justice and Development in Alaska: Why Legal Process in Village Alaska Has Not Kept up with Changing Social Needs [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1984-02-22)
      This paper analyzes the evolution of the working legal process in the predominantly Alaska Native villages of rural Alaska after Alaska statehood. Replacement of territorial government by highly centralized state justice agencies led to a weakening in the working relationship between formal law and extralegal mechanisms such as the village council. This change coincided with development and other changes which demanded more formal legal presence in villages rather than less. The paper reviews the fate of various bush justice reform efforts made by state agencies and efforts by villages to respond to justice needs. The author suggests that the inadequacy of legal process in village Alaska is not due primarily to language problems or Native confusion about Western law; rather, the "bush justice problem" is caused by a lack of resources, a lack of legal planning for development, and the state governmental system's lack of accountability to its rural constituency. The author recommends experimentation at village level, better planning, and greater autonomy for villages.
    • Bush Justice and Development in Alaska: Why Legal Process in Village Alaska Has Not Kept up with Changing Social Needs [revision]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1984-06-28)
      This paper analyzes the evolution of the working legal process in the predominantly Alaska Native villages of rural Alaska after Alaska statehood. Replacement of territorial government by highly centralized state justice agencies led to a weakening in the working relationship between formal law and extralegal mechanisms such as the village council. This change coincided with development and other changes which demanded more formal legal presence in villages rather than less. The paper reviews the fate of various bush justice reform efforts made by state agencies and efforts by villages to respond to justice needs. The author suggests that the inadequacy of legal process in village Alaska is not due primarily to language problems or Native confusion about Western law; rather, the "bush justice problem" is caused by a lack of legal planning for development, the state governmental system's lack of accountability to its rural constituency, and a lack of control by villages over the mixture of formal law, extralegal authority and nonlegal social control appropriate to their needs, both present and future.