Access to Justice and Mediation in Small Claims Courts: Empirical Research and Statistical Analysis in Nine Brazilian States

20 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2010

Date Written: July 8, 2010

Abstract

The purpose of this papers is to assess the guarantee of qualified access to justice (article 5, items XXXV, and LXVIII, of the Federal Constitution) promoted by the Small Claims Courts, and has been guided by the parameter of adequacy.

Considering mediation as the most appropriate way to solve small disputes, it provides an analysis and set of data about agreements rates in Brazilian Small Claims Courts. The grounds for such analysis is based on empirical data gathered from the database in the National Research on Special Civil Courts of the CEBEPEJ (Brazilian Center for Legal Studies and Research) and intents to objectively gauge the quality of services offered in the Small Claims Courts to the population.

First of all, it presents a brief overview of Brazilian Special Civil Courts, describing its functioning and performance. Afterwards, the research, its methodology and its main goals are shown.

Next, the adequacy of services offered by the Small Claims Courts is investigated, by means of its operation in the settlement, further investigating the influence of the nature of the demand and composition of litigants in the settlement rates obtained.

Keywords: Special Civil Courts, Small Claims Courts, qualified Access to justice, consumer matters, individual and collective interests, adequacy of claims and dispute resolution, settlement/mediation/conciliation, empirical research

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Ferraz, Leslie Sherida, Access to Justice and Mediation in Small Claims Courts: Empirical Research and Statistical Analysis in Nine Brazilian States (July 8, 2010). 5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1636454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1636454

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