An Experimental Comparison of Adversarial Versus Inquisitorial Procedural Regimes

Posted: 29 Feb 2008  

Michael K. Block

University of Arizona

Jeffrey S. Parker

George Mason University School of Law

Olga Vyborna

Independent

Libor Dusek

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Abstract

This article reports the results of a multiyear series of economic experiments comparing the two dominant types of legal procedures used in adjudication: (1) the 'adversarial' model of party-controlled procedure versus (2) the 'inquisitorial' model of judge-controlled procedure. The principal finding is that the relative fact-finding efficiency of the two systems, in terms of both the 'revelation' of hidden facts and the 'accuracy' of decision, depends significantly upon the information structure. Under a 'private' information structure, inquisitorial procedure is relatively more efficient, whereas under a 'correlated' information structure, adversarial procedure is relatively more efficient.

Suggested Citation

Block, Michael K. and Parker, Jeffrey S. and Vyborna, Olga and Dusek, Libor, An Experimental Comparison of Adversarial Versus Inquisitorial Procedural Regimes. American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 170-194, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=713111

Michael K. Block (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

401 McClelland Hall P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-2854 (Phone)

Jeffrey S. Parker

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-8055 (Phone)

Olga Vyborna

Independent

No Address Available

Libor Dusek

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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