Henry (1985) formulates a theory aimed at resolving the debate on community justice institutions role in the belief of social structures integrity and local orders while recognizing the interrelationships between them. He reveals the criticism surrounding the proposal to introduce local courts as a way of increasing participation democratically in justice administration. The critics include those in preference of a socialist society and those in support of the capitalist society. He observes that critics are for the view that community justice institutions reinforce existing social arrangements and preserve the stability.
In providing an integrated theoretical practice, Henry (1985), believes is through linking social structure to the disputed resolution process. This he provides is by allowing for a mutual interconnection relationship between capitalist legality and normative local orders while considering the relationship between normative orders, legal and human agency. In his study, Henry (1985) shows that these mutual relations can have both opposing and supporting aspects. He reveals the complex relations they have with the state laws and capitalist society with the existence of relations of support and opposition.
From his research through interviews, and depth study of cooperatives, Henry regards a cooperative as a part of a capitalist society and whole with constituent parts which may be broken down until only the individual remains. Humans are shaped by and shape the groups they belong to which are in turn shaped by the larger social structure. He suggests that in a capitalist society, there is the influence of the larger system. He believes that the institutions are subject to collapse and crisis.
Henry (1985) concludes with the belief that transformation is rooted in the human ability, and the interplay of factions and groups that contain them. The New Dutch and German Drug Laws: Social and political conditions for criminalization and decriminalization Scheerer (1978) tries to make a comparison between the processes of criminalizing and decriminalizing used in Netherlands and Germany to the actions taken by social structures, political systems adapted and the structural variables influencing the direction and content of legal change.
The main concern is the conditions necessary for decriminalization processes to succeed. According to Piaget (1955) decriminalization is the adjustment of moral boundaries to social change more so normative accommodation. He insists on the belief that decriminalization is held by the moral conservatives yet the powerful organizations of this do not have complete freedom in choosing the direction of legal change. The decisions to decriminalize or criminalize depend upon the activities of social groups which are organized and government officials position all influenced by the political culture embedded on social structure.
Scheerer (1978) presents historic case studies that show that the key to decriminalization lies with the conservatives and successful in a conservative public. Moral conservatives are free to decriminalize in an environment of ineffective laws and strategies that are diversionary. He asserts that conservative support for decriminalization is dependent upon state bureaucracy and the will of organized social interest groups to refrain from punitive measures that are punitive.
Following study on the decriminalization in Dutch, Schreerer is of the view that it should not be attributed to the increased tolerance in deviant behavior. His comparison of the Dutch and German shows the impact of underlying social structure variables on the degree of politicization of moral issues and the symbolic significance given by the powerful groups. References Henry, S (1985) Community justice capitalist society and human agency: The dialectics of collective law in the cooperatives: Law & Society Review vol 19 no 2.
Last accessed on 13th January 2009, Retrieved on 1st May, 2010 from: http://www. jstor. org/stable/3053458 Kairys, D (1998). The politics of law: A progressive critique. New York: Basic books Piaget, J. (1955). The child’s construction of reality. London: Routledge & Kergan Paul Schreere, S (1978). The new Dutch and German Laws: Social conditions for criminalization and decriminalization: Law & Society review vol 12 no 4. Last accessed on 14th January, 2009, Retrieved on 1st May 2010 from http://www. jstor. org/stable/3053306