Romani Justice: The Gypsy Court - Page 2
Kris members are chosen for each case, agreed upon by both sides; there are usually five men chosen, but more are possible, depending on the community and the case to be resolved. These judges are elders respected for both their impartiality and their deep understanding of Romani traditions and law. Cases are decided by a majority of the judges on a kris panel. Another key difference from American courts is that once the judges rule, there are no appeals; all decisions are final and binding. The kris is critical within Romani culture; it is the final arbiter in maintaining the community’s integrity to uphold and reinforce the Romani way of life, which is strongly connected to maintaining spiritual balance and harmony. Ultimately, the task of the kris is to restore mutual respect and understanding between the conflicting parties. Sometimes that means imposing fines (glaba) paid to the party injured; sometimes the party found guilty will be declared “unclean” (marime) for a set time frame, banished from the community until such time as deemed appropriate. Very rarely, a guilty party can be permanently banished from the community.
What will the kris decide for the Johns family? Tune in and find out!
Learn more about the Johns family in new episodes of American Gypsies Tuesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.
For more information visit www.natgeotv.com/americangypsies.