Measuring Access to Justice: The Quality of Outcomes

22 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2008 Last revised: 23 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jin Ho Verdonschot

Jin Ho Verdonschot

Tilburg University - TISCO; Tilburg University - Faculty of Law

Maurits Barendrecht

Tilburg Law School; HiiL Innovating Justice

Laura Klaming

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg University - Private Law Department

Peter Kamminga

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law; Harvard Law School (Program on Negotiation); University of California Hastings College of the Law

Date Written: November 10, 2008

Abstract

In this paper, we present a shortlist of criteria and questionnaire items that can be used to evaluate the quality of outcomes of legal procedures and other paths to justice. We define a path to justice as a commonly applied process that users address in order to cope with a legal problem. In our analysis such a path to justice begins when the user first addresses the process and ends at the moment of an outcome. This can be a final decision by a neutral, a joint agreement by the parties, or an end to the process because one of the parties quits the process. Our measurement instrument aims to assess the quality of this outcome from the perspective of the persons using paths to justice.

Criteria only are put on our shortlist if (a) they are regularly proposed in theoretical (normative) literature and (b) empirical research confirms that a substantial part of the population actually uses them to evaluate the outcomes of processes that give access to justice. We draw the criteria for our shortlist from the literature on theories of justice as diverse as distributive justice, restorative justice, corrective justice, retributive justice, transformative justice, legal pragmatism, and formal justice. The proposed criteria and items are intended to become part of a methodology for measuring the price and quality of access to justice from a user's perspective. The paper ends with a discussion of some of the (methodological) challenges: the problems associated with neutral evaluations of outcomes, the ambiguity of outcomes, and the relative weight of each criterion in different settings.

Keywords: Access to Justice, Outcome, Justice, Fairness, Quality, Dispute Resolution, Path to Justice

JEL Classification: D63, D73, D74, K40, K41, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Verdonschot, Jin Ho and Barendrecht, Maurits and Klaming, Laura and Kamminga, Peter, Measuring Access to Justice: The Quality of Outcomes (November 10, 2008). Tilburg University Legal Studies Working Paper No. 014/2008; TISCO Working Paper No. 007/2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1298917 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1298917

Jin Ho Verdonschot (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - TISCO ( email )

Warandelaan 2
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
0031134668764 (Phone)
0031134662323 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=j.h.verdonschot

Tilburg University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
0031134668764 (Phone)
0031134662323 (Fax)

Maurits Barendrecht

Tilburg Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
0031134662298 (Phone)

HiiL Innovating Justice ( email )

Warandelaan 2
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.hiil.org

Laura Klaming

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Private Law Department ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Peter Kamminga

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

Harvard Law School (Program on Negotiation) ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.uchastings.edu/faculty-administration/faculty/kamminga/index.html

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