Access to Justice and Litigation Trade-Off: A Theoretical Analysis

36 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2008

See all articles by Margherita Saraceno

Margherita Saraceno

University of Pavia - Department of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2008


This paper presents a simple model of disputes resolution both from a macro-perspective (social planner's problem) and from a micro-perspective (parties' choice). Furthermore, it analyzes the effects of a number of policies on: a) victim's access to justice, b) parties' choice between settlement and litigation, c) social costs of disputes resolution. Our research extends the existing literature by showing that reducing litigation rate is not always socially efficient. Rather, in many cases, a social trade-off exists between curbing litigation and enhancing access to justice. Using this framework, we derive policy implications for access to justice and judicial economy.

Keywords: access to justice, litigation, legal aid, uncertainty

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Saraceno, Margherita, Access to Justice and Litigation Trade-Off: A Theoretical Analysis (October 1, 2008). Paolo Baffi Centre Research Paper No. 2008-29; CLEA 2008 Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Margherita Saraceno (Contact Author)

University of Pavia - Department of Law ( email )

Pavia, I-27100

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