The Impact of the Number of Courts on the Demand for Trials

CRESE Working paper No. 2013-01

24 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2013

See all articles by Nathalie Chappe

Nathalie Chappe

University of Burgundy Franche-Comté

Marie Obidzinski

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas

Date Written: January 17, 2013

Abstract

The recent reforms of the "judicial map" in Europe have drastically reduced the number of courts, raising fears of a decline in access to justice. This paper addresses this issue through a litigation model within a Salop (1979) model. We assume that victims of accidents differ both in terms of compensatory damages expected and in terms of distance from court. Due to distance costs, it might be too expensive to file cases for some victims with low expected awards. Therefore, the demand for trials is reduced by a decrease in the number of courts when the probability of an accident is exogenous. However, the link between the number of courts and the demand for trials is not clear cut when the probability of an accident occurring is determined by the defendant through his level of care. Furthermore, we determine the optimal number of courts.

Keywords: litigation, number of courts, distance costs, access to justice

JEL Classification: K41, H40

Suggested Citation

Chappe, Nathalie and Obidzinski, Marie, The Impact of the Number of Courts on the Demand for Trials (January 17, 2013). CRESE Working paper No. 2013-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2226256 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2226256

Nathalie Chappe

University of Burgundy Franche-Comté ( email )

45 D avenue de l'observatoire
CRESE
25030 Besancon cedex, DOUBS 25000
France

Marie Obidzinski (Contact Author)

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas ( email )

12 place du Pantheon
Paris cedex 06, 75231
France

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