American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Published in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, 44:1/2. Copyright © 2007-2008 National Center for State Courts. Used by permission.


Burke and Leben’s White Paper on procedural justice and what judges can do to enhance it in the courtroom is an important work for several reasons, two of which especially stand out. First, their paper illustrates how effectively laboratory-based social-science research (often referred to as basic research) and more naturalistic studies performed in real world contexts (often referred to as applied research) can be combined in addressing public policy matters. Second, it contains practical, feasible, and specific recommendations for improving courtroom practice based on that research. We believe that much goodwill come from Burke and Leben’s calling judges’ attention to issues of procedural fairness. The purpose of this commentary is not to dispute their claims regarding procedural justice, but rather to discuss the related concept of distributive justice and its implications for the courts.

Included in

Jurisprudence Commons