Does justice depend on what the judge had for breakfast? To some extent, the answer is, perhaps, yes. Or, perhaps more accurately, it is dependent on when they had breakfast and when justice is sought.
In a 2011 study by Shai Danziger, Jonathan Levav and Liora Avnaim-Pesso, it was found that in the context parole hearings, there is a good time and a bad time to have your hearing held.
The study, published at Extraneous factors in judicial decisions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, no. 17 (April 26, 2011), found that the percentage of “favourable” rulings dropped gradually from 65% to 0% as the morning went on. The favourable ruling percentage shot up again after the morning break, and the afternoon break, only to drop as the day’s sittings went on.
The authors conclude that their results indicate that extraneous variables can influence judicial decisions. Further, they conclude that their findings support the view that “the law is indeterminate by showing that legally irrelevant situational developments – in this case, merely taking a food break – may lead a judge to rule differently in cases with similar legal characteristics.”
It is not clear how this may apply to civil litigation, where one litigant’s “favourable decision” is another litigant’s “unfavourable decision”.
Thanks for reading.
One of the objectives of our Hull and Hull blogs and podcasts is to contribute to the pool of educational material available on-line.
Recently, I was referred to the Khan Academy, a wonderful website which is also spreading education through the internet on a broad scale. The Khan Academy website uses streaming video to deliver lectures on a wide array of topics.
Founder Salman Khan explains on the website that "With just a computer and a pen-tablet-mouse, one can educate the world!" And Salman Khan does an excellent job of doing just that. The Khan Academy boasts over 1,800 educational, videos. Most of the videos are 10-20 minutes in length. They are conversational in tone, and are illustrated by Sal Khan using his tablet. Mr. Khan does an excellent job of explaining some very difficult topics.
The topics lean heavily towards the maths and sciences, but there are number of discourses on Economics and History, as well.
(Be sure to try out the "Blue Forehead" brain teaser.)
Thank you for reading,
Paul E. Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.