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Submitted by Barbara Jackson on
Thank you Peter for your interesting insight, and Jonathon has weighed in with some excellent points as well. The term “hybrid courts” might possibly require some clarification. It seems to encompass alternative dispute resolution and community justice initiatives in the customary context. But the term “hybrid” also seems to infer a concurrent jurisdiction of sorts. Are you referring to community justice initiatives (i.e. courts or tribunals) which apply both statutory and customary law? Also, does your analysis of “hybrid” courts also refer situations where either a community court or an (ordinary westernized) superior court can exercise the same jurisdiction? For example, I note that with respect to the PNG Village courts, a District Court can also hear the same matters (provided rules of evidence are not strictly adhered to, and provided no lawyers are present.)[See section 38 of the Village Courts Act 1989 at this link ] This issue struck me as I reviewed your great overview, and I wonder if this issue relating to the definition of the term “hybrid” court has been touched upon at all.