Human-Centered Civil Justice Design: Procedural Justice and Process Value Pluralism
36 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2019
Date Written: September 1, 2018
The article Human-Centered Civil Justice Design introduced a novel approach to improve the civil justice system. Human-centered civil justice design reflects best practices in problem solving and begins with empathizing with intended beneficiaries and stakeholders, using surveys, observations, and interviews to immerse designers in the experiences of these stakeholders. Human-centered designers consider the needs and goals of stakeholders and harness psychological and behavioral science to ideate and prototype possible solutions, which the designers empirically test with pilots and randomized control trials. Moreover, human-centered civil justice designers seek to reconcile the diverse process values that the civil justice system seeks to promote. Human-Centered Civil Justice Design theorized that procedural justice has a plural effect on the public's experiences of the civil justice system and that procedural justice can be harnessed to advance the plural process values that human-centered civil justice designers seek to realize. In this Article, we present the results of an empirical legal study designed to test that hypothesis.
This Article empirically investigates the plural effects of procedural justice and reports the results of an experiment conducted with a sample of the American public. The experiment examines the extent to which procedural justice has a plural effect on the public's thoughts, feelings, and experiences with civil justice. Specifically, does granting the public procedural justice broadly influence a range of experiences, including: fairness, outcome satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, perceptions of legal accuracy, perceptions of the effectiveness of procedures, and perceived legitimacy, regardless of the outcome obtained? If so, do these plural effects converge on a single underlying factor specifically, fundamental experiences of justice? While foundational to theories of civil justice, this Article is the first to examine these questions in the legal domain using psychological experiments. By drawing on theory in the field of social psychology and conducting an experiment with the American public, we begin to illuminate answers to these questions and discuss implications for theorizing about the extent to which legal culture and legal institutions should embrace plural process values.
Keywords: access-to-justice, civil justice, procedural justice, psychological science, human-centered, empirical legal studies
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