Getting It Right Isn't Enough: The Appellate Court's Role in Procedural Justice
Posted: 6 Feb 2021
Date Written: December 2, 2020
Extensive research has shown that adherence to procedural-justice principles leads to a greater sense of an authority’s legitimacy. In courts, adherence to procedural-justice principles leads to greater compliance with court orders, greater cooperation with courts, and higher overall approval for the court system. This Article applies the lessons of procedural justice to the appellate courts.
The Article first reviews public-opinion data about the courts, finding that a generally diminished trust in institutions includes the courts. The Article then reviews the research showing that the application of procedural-justice principles leads to a greater sense of court legitimacy. From that basis, the Article recommends several steps appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, should take to improve perceptions of fairness.
Keywords: procedural justice, procedural fairness, public trust, appellate courts
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