How Do the Courts Create Popular Legitimacy?: The Role of Establishing the Truth, Punishing Justly, and/or Acting through Just Procedures
43 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2014 Last revised: 12 Sep 2014
Date Written: February 16, 2014
This article reports the findings from an original survey examining the relationship between two important functions of the legal system -- establishing truth and providing justice -- and the public's perceptions of the legitimacy of legal decision makers.
The results suggest that establishing the truth of the matter in a legal proceeding is a distinct psychological goal from attaining justice from the legal decision maker. Instead, these concepts have parallel influences on the public's perceptions of the decision maker's legitimacy. Implications for the legal system are discussed.
Note: This article is forthcoming in Volume 77 of the Albany Law Review as part of its symposium on miscarriages of justice.
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