Perceptions of fairness in the justice system: A cross-cultural comparison

Rebecca A. Anderson1, Amy L. Otto2
1Boston College
2Albion College
Cite this article:  Anderson, R., & Otto, A. (2003). Perceptions of fairness in the justice system: A cross-cultural comparison. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31, 557-564.

Volume 31 Issue 6 | e1278 | Published: September 2003 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2003.31.6.557

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Research comparing the adversarial and inquisitorial justice systems has consisted primarily of American participants reading descriptions of each system in their "pure" form, rather than descriptions that allow for the flexibility with which these systems are actually employed. In this study, participants from the Netherlands and the United States read short, realistic descriptions of each system and answered questions about the fairness of both procedures. Results indicated that while the adversarial system was rated significantly higher on the likelihood that all evidence will be presented, and the likelihood that both the victim and the defendant will get an opportunity to voice their cases, people showed a clear preference for their own system. This bias toward one justice system over another may be due to the cultural values reflected in each system.
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