Peace and Justice: Notes on the Evolution and Purposes of Legal Processes

28 Pages Posted: 16 May 2006

See all articles by Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center


This text of the inaugural lecture for the A.B. Chettle, Jr. Chair in Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure at Georgetown University Law Center presents an intellectual outline (theory and practice) for a house of justice built on the foundations of Lon Fuller, the Legal Process school, Jurgen Habermas' and Stuart Hampshire's social philosophy about democratic processes, the floors of comparative processes, drawing on the work of political theorist Jon Elster and empirical work on legal and political processes and the ceilings of new processes, like consensus building fora, truth and reconciliation commissions and other combinations of legal and political processes. A model of different modes of human conflict resolution is outlined with differentiations of different forms of process (open/closed; plenary/committees; expert/naturalistic; constitutive/permanent/ad hoc).

The article suggests a broadened view of what should be taught as legal process - beyond conventional civil procedure to many more forms of human legal and political processes. If process is the human bridge between justice and peace then we much teach about both kinds of processes - those seeking justice and those seeking peace; hopefully they can both be accomplished.

Keywords: Procedure, Dispute Resolution, Legal Pluralism

Suggested Citation

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie J., Peace and Justice: Notes on the Evolution and Purposes of Legal Processes. Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 94, pp. 553-580, 2006, Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 901262, Available at SSRN:

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

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Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

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