The Appeals Process and Adjudicator Incentives
40 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2004 Last revised: 24 Aug 2009
Date Written: September 2004
The appeals process -- whereby litigants can have decisions of adjudicators reviewed by a higher authority -- is a general feature of formal legal systems (and of many private decisionmaking procedures). It leads to the making of better decisions, because it constitutes a threat to adjudicators whose decisions would deviate too much from socially desirable ones. Further, it yields this benefit without absorbing resources to the extent that adjudicators can anticipate when appeals would occur and would thus make decisions to forestall the actual occurrence of appeals.
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