The drive for efficiency has caused many legal systems to redesign themselves, creating multiple paths for dispute resolution and incorporating settlement-promoting tools into the judicial role. However, as this study shows, legal systems have taken divergent approaches as they redesign themselves to accommodate settlement practices, leading to widely disparate results. This study probes the paths taken by three countries’ legal systems—England and Wales (common law), Israel (mixed), and Italy (continental law)—drawing on court docket analyses, courtroom observations, and interviews with judges in the three legal systems. It uncovers central points of divergence—emphasized stage of dispute resolution, separation vs. combination of adjudication and settlement roles, positive vs. negative portrayal of trial, and level of individual choice. In addition, it analyzes points of convergence: an emergence of a multi-door legal landscape and the convergence of civil and criminal justice (to a different extent) in each legal system. The implications of the findings on the choices presented to litigants, and their individual agency and choice are explored, and policy recommendations are offered. The study offers steps that can be taken to create more responsive, human-centered legal systems.
Nofit Amir and Michal Alberstein,
Designing Responsive Legal Systems: A Comparative Study,
22 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol22/iss2/1