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Judges in the Lab: No Precedent Effects, No Common/Civil Law Differences

Abstract : In our lab, 299 real judges from seven major jurisdictions (Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, USA) spend up to 55 minutes to judge an international criminal appeals case and determine the appropriate prison sentence. The lab computer (1) logs their use of the documents (briefs, statement of facts, trial judgment, statute, precedent), and (2) randomly assigns each judge (i) a horizontal precedent disfavoring, favoring, or strongly favoring defendant, (ii) a sympathetic or an unsympathetic defendant, and (iii) a short, medium, or long sentence anchor. Document use and written reasons differ between countries but not between common and civil law. Precedent effect is barely detectable and estimated to be less, and bounded to be not much greater, than that of legally irrelevant defendant attributes and sentence anchors.
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Contributor : Pierre Grivaz Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, February 28, 2022 - 2:16:51 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 14, 2022 - 11:20:04 AM




Holger Spamann, Lars Klöhn, Jamin Christophe, Vikramaditya Khanna, John Zhuang Liu, et al.. Judges in the Lab: No Precedent Effects, No Common/Civil Law Differences. SSRN Electronic Journal, 2020, pp.1-127. ⟨10.2139/ssrn.3700289⟩. ⟨hal-03591165⟩



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