Deborah R. Hensler is the Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution, Stanford Law School, and Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. She received her A.B. from City U. of New York and her Ph.D. from MIT. Ms. Hensler is the author of Suppose It’s Not True: Challenging Mediation Ideology, 2002 JOURNAL OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION 81-99 (2002).
JUDGING ARBITRATION: THE FINDINGS OF PROCEDURAL JUSTICE RESEARCH
Deborah R. Hensler
Procedural justice research began in a laboratory about many years ago when social psychologist John Thibaut and lawyer Laurens Walker teamed up to study individual preferences for different forms of dispute resolution. Initially, they focused on preferences concerning different styles of adjudication. Using conventional psychological experimentation methods and student research subjects who played the role of the disputing parties, they investigated whether individuals preferred an adversarial process like the one used in the United States or an inquisitorial process similar to that used in many European courts for deciding criminal cases.
Thibaut and Walker found that subjects assigned the role of defendant perceived the adversarial procedure to be fairer than the inquisitorial approach.