Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=996031
 
 

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Do Delays in Civil Cases Depend on the Number of Laws? A Theoretical and Empirical Study


Giuseppe DiVita


University of Catania - Department of Economics and Business

June 22, 2007

2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
In this paper we attempt to explain the slowness of civil contentiousness in terms of excessive laws production. To this aim we have build a simple model and performed an empirical analysis. The main intuition behind the theoretical framework is that the greater the number of laws in force at the same time, most of them coming from different institutions, make more difficult to obtain a decision from the court. In this case, the judge has to exert a considerable effort to decide the case, in terms of individuation of law applicable and of coordination among different laws, to produce a sentence. Thus he may have a strong incentive to delay the moment of decision. Based on our case study, conducted by using Italian data, it is possible to affirm that the complexity level of legal system, especially if the laws come from different sources, may contribute to explain the excessive duration of civil disputes

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: Decision delay, Imperfect information, Index of legislation complexity, Justice services rationing, Judge incentives

JEL Classification: K4, D82, C1

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Date posted: July 12, 2007 ; Last revised: December 24, 2007

Suggested Citation

DiVita, Giuseppe, Do Delays in Civil Cases Depend on the Number of Laws? A Theoretical and Empirical Study (June 22, 2007). 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=996031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.996031

Contact Information

Giuseppe DiVita (Contact Author)
University of Catania - Department of Economics and Business ( email )
Corso Italia no. 55
Catania 95129, Catania
Italy
+39 95 230335 (Phone)
+39 95 321654 (Fax)
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