New report, Justice System

In the previous report [2nd Justice System Report Dec 2012] we provided an overview of the Justice System, along with the many issues that could come up in a quantitative analysis. In this report, we hope to introduce an approach that is compatible with the issues that we have raised. The main problem of using the usual economic tools in the case of a judicial system is the heterogeneity of the goods being produced and of the production units themselves, which prompts the method we will use here.

We have selected three topics to discuss in this instance: we begin by finishing our work regarding the Big Litigators that was initiated in the previous report and then introduce two new vectors. We approach the question of what is the economic impact of a reform in the Justice System. To this effect, we have chosen a series of papers that attempt to relate economic growth, interest rates and unemployment to the workings of various aspects of the judicial system. This helps to contextualize our discussion and to show its relevance.

We have begun building a KPI which will aid in observing the structural efficiency of the Portuguese Judicial System. This indicator’s main advantage is that it separates congestion in a given unit of measurement from efficiency, allowing us to analyze it directly and conduct a series of comparisons within the system itself. Because we must be careful of generalizations and attentive to detail, we will not yet include the full analysis until we are fairly certain of its robustness. We have, however, the beginnings of a model which attempts to explain the number of proceedings that a court is able to terminate per year, based on some of its inputs. The goal of including this basic model is not yet to evaluate the system itself but to show in which direction we are moving and to spark debate from which our future analysis may profit from.

2nd Justice System Report Dec 2012, download

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