Deterrence Vs Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 161, No. 2, pp. 193-206, 2004

1 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2004 Last revised: 23 Jul 2009

See all articles by Dominique Demougin

Dominique Demougin

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Governance & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Claude Fluet

Université Laval

Date Written: July 1, 2004

Abstract

We argue that the common law standard of proof, given the rules of evidence, does not minimize expected error as usually argued in the legal literature, but may well be efficient from the standpoint of providing maximal incentives for socially desirable behavior. By contrast, civil law's higher but somewhat imprecise standard may be interpreted as reflecting a tradeoff between providing incentives and avoiding judicial error per se. In our model, the optimal judicial system has rules resembling those in the common law when providing incentives is paramount. When greater weight is given to avoiding error, the optimal system has civilian features.

Keywords: Standard of proof, burden of proof, common law, civil law, evidentiary rules

JEL Classification: D8, K4

Suggested Citation

Demougin, Dominique and Fluet, Claude-Denys, Deterrence Vs Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof (July 1, 2004). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 161, No. 2, pp. 193-206, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=585770 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.585770

Dominique Demougin

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Governance & Economics ( email )

International University Schloss Reichartshausen
Campus Wiesbaden, Soehnleinstrasse 8A
Wiesbaden, 65201
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Muenchen, 81679
Germany

Claude-Denys Fluet (Contact Author)

Université Laval ( email )

2214 Pavillon J-A. DeSeve
Quebec, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada
1-418-656-2131, ext 3290 (Phone)

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