Designing Justice: Legal Institutions and Other Systems for Managing Conflict
50 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008 Last revised: 12 Jun 2011
Date Written: April 2, 2009
The fields of institutional design and dispute system design both encompass the human activity of creating new rules, organizations, institutions, and forums to serve various goals related to public policy. However, through these systems, we are also designing justice. The question is, which kind of justice? My purpose with this essay is to raise, not to answer, this question. First, I briefly introduce the field of institutional analysis and design in social science. Second, I describe the field of dispute system design (DSD) and apply elements of institutional analysis. Third, I survey how scholars have discussed varieties of justice in relation to legal institutions and other systems for managing conflict. I conclude that designing these institutions affects justice; we should move more knowingly and intentionally to assess justice in DSD; and we owe it to the next generation of lawyers to teach them how to serve ethically in their new role as designers of justice.
Keywords: institutional analysis, dispute system design, dispute resolution, jurisprudence, justice
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