The relationship between perceived fairness of judge’s behavior, his decision and personality traits

Ksenija Čunichina, Viktoras Justickis, Gintautas Valickas

Abstract


Perceived fairness of trial process is perhaps the most critical determinant of procedural justice. The present article explores personal and situational factors associated with the perceptions of judge’s procedural and distributive fairness. Specifically, it investigates what influence does judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements have on the evaluation of judge‘s conduct as well as decision fairness and do personality traits shape that perception.

 To find out the influence of judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements on perceived fairness of judge‘s behavior and decision, the quasi-experiment based on scenario method was conducted. 392 participants were divided into three groups. Each group was shown one of three 20-minute movies depicting trial process. The scenarios of the movies differed only in judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements (totally complied, formally complied and did not comply). Afterwards the participants’ perceived fairness of judge‘s behavior, decision and personality traits were measured.

 The findings suggest that judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements has a different impact on decision and judge‘s behavior fairness evaluations. The decision and the behavior of the judge is perceived as less fair in situations where the behavior of judge does not meet the requirements of procedural justice. It was found that the greatest impact of judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice has on procedural fairness judgments, however the impact on distributive fairness judgments was small, but still statistically significant. The control for personality traits showed no effect on the impact of judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements on perceived distributive (decision) fairness. However it was found a small effect of conscientiousness on the impact of judge‘s behavior compliance with procedural justice requirements on perceived procedural (judge’s behavior) fairness.


Keywords


judges’ behavior; perceived fairness of judge’s behavior and decision; procedural justice requirements; personality traits

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SMS-14-6-1-10

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236