Appeal Procedures: Evaluation and Reform

Tilburg Law & Economics Center Discussion Paper No. 2006-031

56 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2006

See all articles by Maurits Barendrecht

Maurits Barendrecht

Tilburg Law School; HiiL Innovating Justice

Korine Bolt

Tilburg University - Center for Legislative Studies

Machteld W. De Hoon

Tilburg Law School

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

Many jurisdictions consider changes in appeal procedures. These changes usually affect both the costs of the appeal system and the quality of justice that the appeal system provides. We try to assess the effects of these changes systematically. What are the likely costs and benefits for the parties and for future users of the court system? How do they influence the costs of maintaining the appeal system?

First, we develop a framework for evaluating such changes in terms of several categories of costs and benefits. Thereafter, we apply this framework to recent changes and proposals for change under consideration in four European jurisdictions, of which we covered the areas of civil procedure, administrative procedure, and criminal procedure. We look at: (1) restrictions in tasks for appeal systems (by a leave for appeal system, a system limiting grounds for appeal, not allowing appeals for certain types of cases, restrictions on new issues, limiting appeals to issues brought up by parties, and limits to stakes of a certain value); (2) changes in incentives to use appeal procedures; (3) changes in dealing with appeal cases (such as single judges in appeal, or better case management); and (4) alternatives to appeal. Our more general conclusions are the following. We find indications that appeal systems will improve their cost benefit ratio if they focus on error correction, in particular on errors that have a big effect on outcome and that are easily detectable. Using the appeal system for law making is not only a matter of freeing up resources, but also requires that appeal courts organize their work in such a manner that it generates more useful precedents (information that enables large numbers of future users of the court system to save costs in their dispute). An issue that warrants further study is the optimal division of labour between the different levels of the court system.

Keywords: appeal, civil procedure, cost benefit analysis, evaluation, court

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Barendrecht, Maurits and Bolt, Korine and De Hoon, Machteld W., Appeal Procedures: Evaluation and Reform (November 2006). Tilburg Law & Economics Center Discussion Paper No. 2006-031. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=942289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.942289

Maurits Barendrecht (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
0031134662298 (Phone)

HiiL Innovating Justice ( email )

Warandelaan 2
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.hiil.org

Korine Bolt

Tilburg University - Center for Legislative Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE
Tilburg
Netherlands
+31 (0)13 4662504 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uvt.nl/faculteiten/frw/departementen/staatsenbestuursrecht/medewerkers.html

Machteld W. De Hoon

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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