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Traditional Aboriginal and Inuit judicial proceedings: a comparative approach

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Abstract

Judicial procedures of the Inuit and Australian worlds are compared on the basis of a classification developed for the latter, which articulates three formal criteria (symmetry, moderation, designation). The classification proves to be relevant for the Inuit world as a whole and allows us to grasp its main characteristics. Beyond the well-known priority given by the latter to psychological and social aspects rather than physical sanctions, two essential features emerge. The first is the dichotomy between Alaska and the more eastern regions. The latter are marked by the almost total absence of collective designation procedures, in any form whatsoever, with the possible and rare exception of the regulated battle. This absence explains both that of warfare-at least, internal to the Inuit groups-and the low intensity of feud. Alaska, on the contrary, experienced several variants of collective procedures, including feud and judicial warfare strictly speaking.

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2021-09-26