Justin Sevier, ‘A [Relational] Theory of Procedure’

… This Article fills that gap by proffering an updated model of institutional legitimacy informed by insights from experimental social psychology. This model’s central feature is relationality – a psychological concept that focuses on the interactive dynamics of societal group members – which manifests itself in the public’s attitudes toward the objectives of different legal conflicts, the priorities of different legal procedures, and the purposes of the law more generally. This Article reports the results from three original psychology experiments that demonstrate that the perceived legitimacy of legal dispute resolution is enhanced when the public perceives an alignment between the goals of a legal dispute and the perceived priorities of the procedure that resolves it. Specifically, decisions from legal tribunals governing disputes low in relationality are legitimized when they are adjudicated through inquisitorial means, and decisions from tribunals governing disputes high in relationality are legitimized when they are subject to adversarial resolution. Far-reaching implications for legal institutional design are discussed.

Sevier, Justin, A [Relational] Theory of Procedure (June 17, 2019). 104 Minnesota Law Review (forthcoming 2020).

First posted 2019-06-26 05:51:03

Leave a Reply