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Conflicts as Property by Nils Christie

            Our legal system has increasingly become less concerned with the victim. Focus is no longer on who is most affected by a crime, instead it is put on the state and victim satisfaction with the outcome is ignored. Nils Christie gave us the idea to view "Conflicts as Property" as a means to question the operation of the criminal justice system. Christie's idea is that highly industrialized societies have created a process in which conflicts have been removed from the individuals involved and placed in the hands of the law. In order to examine the argument put forth by Nils Christie, one must first understand what he is suggesting. .
             Christie proposes that conflict is valuable to the growth of society and that people should own their conflicts as one might own property. He explains that these conflicts are stolen by the law or "professional thieves" (Christie, p 3) who seek to undermine their value and even more so, that this process removes the individuals rights to participate in their own resolutions. Christie believes we need a procedure in place to restore conflict back to its original owners. However, our criminal justice system holds that everyone be given a fair, equal, and consistent form of resolution to a conflict and to ensure a shared set of values that upholds social order. And although conflicts have become the property of lawyers, it is perhaps the best style of conflict resolution we currently have. .
             It is my position that Christie's argument has merit and should be used as a tool within the context of our current legal framework by restoring victim's rights and putting more emphasis on humanizing offenders. However, it is difficult to comprehend how our current society, which relies heavily on formal institutional processes, could resolve conflicts within any other setting. Therefore, we should not think of conflicts as our property as Christie suggests.

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