Taking Seriously Affordability, Expedition, and Integrity in Adjudication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the potentially far-reaching consequences of treating cost and time as dimensions of justice. It shows that an exaggerated pursuit of accurate judgments may undermine the effort to enforce the law, because it produces lengthy and expensive litigation that is likely to deter many from seeking enforcement in the first place, and to distort justice by subjecting the process to economic inequalities. When affordability and expedition are prioritized, courts will be expected to ensure that litigation remains within the financial reach of litigants and that it concludes within a short time. This means that the court must avoid unaffordable spending or lengthy litigation even when these might otherwise be justified by the features of the case in question, namely its value, complexity, importance, etc. Reducing the uncertainty concerning the legal rights of the litigants has value independent of outcome accuracy; it simply enables people to move on with their lives. This chapter also explores the multi-dimensional nature of justice beyond the trifecta of accuracy, cost, and time. It shows that common law procedures seek to protect additional values, including three senses of integrity. One is concerned with the integrity of litigants, using procedural sanctions to deter abusive behaviour. The second focuses on the morality of the court, requiring it to keep its hands clean and refuse to rely on illegality or engage with proceedings advanced through fraud and falsity. The third sense of integrity focuses on the message a court sends by imposing procedural sanctions on abuse of process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrinciples, Procedure, and Justice
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in honour of Adrian Zuckerman
EditorsRabeea Assy, Andrew Higgins
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780198850410
StatePublished - 2020


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