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Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt$
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Benjamin Kelly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599615.001.0001

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Private Dispute Resolution and the Shadow of the Law

Private Dispute Resolution and the Shadow of the Law

Chapter:
(p.244) 7 Private Dispute Resolution and the Shadow of the Law
Source:
Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt
Author(s):

Benjamin Kelly

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599615.003.0007

This chapter argues that the evidence does not support the view that petitioning and litigation in Roman Egypt were usually a last resort, employed only if ‘private’ dispute resolution methods failed. Rather, the evidence shows petitioning and litigation in many cases underpinned and gave strength to ‘private’ mechanisms of resolving disputes: ‘private’ dispute resolution often took place in ‘the shadow of the law’. A petition could be a way of forcing another party to negotiate seriously for a settlement, or could raise the implicit threat of litigation to force another party’s compliance to a settlement reached through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.

Keywords:   ‘private’ dispute resolution, ‘the shadow of the law’, negotiation, mediation, arbitration

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