Law is often discussed as though it is a physical space. It has been described metaphorically as an ‘arena’ or a ‘field ’ (Gilson and Mnookin, 1994; Harnett, 1985; Mason, 1999). But if law is a field, what are its contours? Does it have an inside and an outside? Are some practices more central to this field (the ‘formal’), while others are more marginal and secondary (the ‘informal’)? In modern, Western, capitalist societies, the answer to this question is often taken to be self-evident. We commonly refer to state-administered and bureaucratic justice processes as ‘formal’, while negotiated and meditated justice processes are designated as ‘informal’. Simply put, ‘informal justice’ refers to those forms of justice that are said to take place outside of the formal courtroom, in settings that are less rule-bound and adversarial. For many critics of ‘formal justice’, informal practices hold the promise of a justice that is more empowering, participatory and accessible, while, at the same time, less alienating, costly and adversarial (Bush and Folger, 1994).