• Alaskan Bush Justice: Legal Centralism Confronts Social Science Research and Village Alaska [1982 revision]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1982-09)
      This paper traces the history of the bush justice system in rural Alaska, describes the relationship between traditional Alaska Native dispute resolution mechanisms and the state criminal justice system, and analyzes bush justice research between 1970 and 1981 and its effects on state agency policies and changes in the rural justice system. Innovations by researchers were well-received by villagers and field-level professionals, but not by agency policymakers. Hence, most reforms made in the 1970s had vanished by the early 1980s. The author concludes that further reforms will be ineffective unless Alaska Natives are drawn into the decisionmaking process as co-equal players negotiating on legal process from positions of power.
    • Alaskan Bush Justice: Legal Centralism Confronts Social Science Research and Village Alaska [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1981-09)
      This paper traces the history of the bush justice system in rural Alaska, describes the relationship between traditional Alaska Native dispute resolution mechanisms and the state criminal justice system, and analyzes bush justice research between 1970 and 1981 and its effects on state agency policies and changes in the rural justice system. Innovations by researchers were well-received by villagers and field-level professionals, but not by agency policymakers. Hence, most reforms made in the 1970s had vanished by the early 1980s. The author concludes that further reforms will be ineffective unless Alaska Natives are drawn into the decisionmaking process as co-equal players negotiating on legal process from positions of power.
    • The Extralegal Forum and Legal Power: The Dynamics of the Relationship — Other Pipelines

      Conn, Stephen (Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1974-02-26)
      Diverse groups — e.g., Brazilian squatters, Navajos, village Eskimos and Indians — look to special forums to resolve disputes outside the formal legal system. These forums are employed because they accept disputes as defined by their clients and offer remedies based upon these conceptualizations. Formal agents of the law in their environments cannot do this. When these forums are extralegal (without formal legal authority to act) and are located in an environment where the formal legal process has the theoretical capacity to intervene in the disputes, they must tap into authentic lines of power to maintain their credibility with their constituents. Legal power is not usually formally delegated without defined limits upon its use. Because extralegal forums often must be free from the constraints of particular norms and processes, in order to correctly define and remedy disputes, extralegal forums seek borrowed power through special relationships with formal agents of legal power. Then they reapply it to meet the needs of their constituents. This paper describes the ways to study these relationships and their likely impact upon an informal forum. The author suggests a way of viewing extralegal dispute resolution in a given community against the larger matrix of relationships between the formal and informal legal process. He draws upon his field work in Brazilian squatter colonies, Navajo Indian communities, and rural Athabascan and Eskimo villages in Alaska.
    • Reply Paper to ‘Multicultural Law-Related Education in the Humanities’ by Dr. Carlos E. Cortes

      Conn, Stephen (Criminal Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1978-05)
      Multi-ethnic (or bicultural) legal education is a superior way to teach law as a social process within an everchanging American legal culture. By stepping out of one's own legal tradition or culture and into another's, it is possible to see how law really operates without blinders of ethnocentricity. Ethnic minority students can use their own legal tradition as a basis for contrast and comparison with American legal culture. Elementary school is the best place to explore the values which underlie legal traditions. Teachers must discover differences and refrain from indoctrination. Curriculum that is bicultural should focus upon common problems, borne out of relationships, and common approaches to problem solving. A team approach in curriculum development has produced instructional material which treats common problems comparatively where more than one legal tradition operates.