Tuesday, March 1, 2011

AP: Court for Gypsies to settle disputes according to tradition opens in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania - Romania's self-styled King of the Gypsies says he has inaugurated the first court for the minority group.

Florin Cioaba says Monday the court in the central city of Sibiu will rule on disputes between Roma, or Gypsies, but will not represent a parallel justice system.

Cioaba says it will mediate conflicts and breaches of tradition in Roma communities.

Until now, Roma communities traditionally have had a group of elders who mediate disputes, according to their own customs. The ruling was done in various locations, not in a fixed place. The court's ruling committee, which is like a jury, has 20 members.

Most estimates put the number of Roma in Romania at 1.5 million, although the last census only recorded 500,000.

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