Access to Justice: The Quality of the Procedure

L. Klaming, I. Giesen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


    The quality of procedures is believed to play an important role in access to justice. It is assumed, that the quality of a procedure is high if people evaluate it as fair. Fair procedures are likely to improve access to justice. For the purpose of the present paper, the quality of procedures is determined in terms of people's perceptions of procedural justice. Pocedural justice refers to various aspects that a procedure should meet in order to be perceived as fair by its users. Research on procedural justice has a long tradition within the field of social psychology. It was therefore decided to focus on the theoretical and empirical framework of social psychology in order to define and evaluate the quality of procedures. Other frameworks, such as legal, philosophical and economic perspectives, are not discussed here. Various indicators of procedural justice as well as potential factors influencing people's evaluations of procedural justice have been identified in past research. Factors that were found to affect procedural justice perceptions include cultural aspects, features of the outcome, as well as characteristics of the dispute. In addition, recent research has indicated that people may also rely on emotional information when evaluating procedural justice. This aspect seems to be of particular importance in the legal context as conflicts are generally characterised by negative emotions which may then influence people's justice judgments. The present paper discusses the most relevant research findings and theories of procedural justice. In addition, the different conceptualisations of justice and their relevance for the purpose of evaluating the quality of procedures are discussed in more detail in order to determine which indicators of procedural justice are most relevant and should therefore be incorporated into a measurement method to assess the quality of procedures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages44
    JournalTISCO Working Paper Series on Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems
    Issue number002
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Procedural justice
    • Interpersonal justice
    • Informational justice


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