The webinar will be chaired by Professor Clifford Shearing.

Speaker 1: Justice (Prof.) Joel Ngugi, Judge of Appeal & Chair, National Steering Committee for the Implementation of the AJS Policy (NaSCI-AJS)

Title: Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) as a Modality for Rethinking the Criminal Justice System in Kenya

Abstract: Alternative Justice Systems (AJS), once neglected in practice and denigrated in theory and policy, is gaining ground in Kenya pursuant to constitutional imprimatur. Globally, thanks to the re-theorization of access to justice ushered in by SDG 16, AJS is also enjoying a new lease of life as a “People-centered justice” initiative – one praised for recognizing and promoting the place of “the people and communities affected by the law, whether in civil, criminal, or administrative matters, at the core of the policies, processes, and practices that provide a foundation for justice systems.” In my short presentation, I will explore the formal and informal modalities in which AJS intersects with the Criminal Justice System in Kenya after the launch of the AJS Policy by the Kenyan Judiciary in 2020.

Speaker 2: Professor Valerie Braithwaite, Emeritus Professor, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University (ANU)

Title: How are our systems of security and justice accelerating domination of the lives of ordinary people? A motivational posturing perspective

Abstract: Motivational posturing theory provides a fine-tuned analysis of how social institutions are having their social legitimacy eroded. Central to motivational posturing theory is the difference between citizens showing resistant defiance and citizens showing dismissive defiance. While these two types of defiance are related, resistant defiance and dismissive defiance present different challenges to authorities. Resistant defiance is amenable to negotiation through the now well accepted pathway of procedural justice, trust building and rebooting social legitimacy, all of which build citizen cooperation (either acquiescence or commitment to the authority’s demands). Dismissive defiance is less accommodating to gestures of appeasement from authorities. Authorities fear dismissive defiance and tend to respond by looking the other way, or when that is not possible, using domination, sometimes lawful, sometimes not. Unfortunately, as authorities use domination to control ‘dismissive disruptors’, they agitate ‘resistant disruptors’, unleashing grievances that ripple out across society. Such grievance spreads through myriad channels of influence to generate nebulous discontent across society, which in times of crisis can be harnessed in coordinated defiance against authorities. This can be at times when authorities are most in need of the public’s cooperation (eg COVID-19 pandemic).

We can shape alternative scenarios for meeting crises through strengthening institutions that engage with resistant defiance constructively – through offering honesty, transparency, understanding, problem solving, and power sharing – as well as holding power to account. This paper draws on Australia’s green shoots for promising institutional arrangements in contexts where regulators previously have been steering the flow of events in counter-productive directions – child protection, aged care, social welfare, tertiary education, environmental protection and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar is the third of a series of bi-monthly webinars entitled Security and Justice Futures which aim to confront the dilemmas, re-imaginings and futures of security and justice from a cross-regional perspective. Drawing from a range of speakers from north and south contexts, the series seeks to engage with both academic and practitioner audiences to encourage a mutual dialogue on the futures of security and justice in diverse contexts.

Please note this webinar will take place via Zoom. A link will be sent to participants two days before event and 1 hour prior to starting.

Photo Credit: Georgia Goodwin, Flickr, Nairobi Remand and Allocation Prison.