Congestion and Delay in the Final Court of Justice: An Economic Interpretation
22 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009
Date Written: August 2008
A common feature in different courts of appeal, including the Supreme Courts of different countries is inordinate delay in administration of justice. Increasing caseload per judge is often treated as the culprit and hiring more judges is a popular corrective device. Particularly, for the Supreme Court there exists an ingrained conflict regarding the time and quality-efficient administration of justice, as the judges themselves are responsible for reviewing and selecting cases for further appeal. Given this choice, the trade off between number of cases filed and quality of judgment, with constrained optimization by potential litigants and social planner has not been explored so far. We argue that contrary to popular expectations, an increase in the number of judges may raise caseload per judge. Similarly, a social planner’s decision to deepen the reach of justice may inspire more litigation from the subjects and therefore is self-defeating in practice.
Keywords: Supreme Court, Litigant, Justice, Delay, Caseload
JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation