Nudging Civil Justice: Examining Voluntary and Mandatory Court Mediation User Experience in Twelve Regions
Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 269-288, 2018
20 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2018
Date Written: February 18, 2018
Nudge theory suggests that positive reinforcement to encourage compliance is at least as effective, if not more effective, than traditional directions issued through legislation. This Article tests nudge theory in the context of court mediation reform by examining whether, and if so how, light nudges encouraging voluntary mediation have a differential effect on civil justice outcomes as compared with more robust nudges through mandated mediation processes. A statistical analysis of 2016–2017 civil justice indicators in twelve regions suggests light nudges, (voluntary court mediation programs, or (self-directed resolution), on average associated with higher overall jurisdictional scores for efficiency and non-discrimination. In comparison, robust nudges, (court-mandated mediation processes) show no significant difference in relation to the quality of civil justice, effective enforcement, accessibility and affordability, and impartiality, and effectiveness between voluntary and mandatory mediation systems in the regions examined.
Keywords: Nudge Theory, Comparative Dispute Resolution, Court Mediation, Civil Justice Reform
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