Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-Making

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9780199253531: Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-Making
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Book by Duxbury Neil

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Review from previous edition Neil Duxbury has added a sharply focused, but rich and informative, contribution to legal theoretical literature ... along the way one learns a host of fascinating and unfamiliar facts, and is introduced to bodies of scholarship the existence of which one may never have suspected. The range of material that has been drawn together in this book is quite breathtaking. (N. E. Simmonds, The Cambridge Law Journal)

Duxbury's Random Justice is stimulating throughout and wonderfully researched...his book has encouraged me to reflect more on the special sort of fairness that is present in randomization, and what all this might reveal about reason and the rule of law. (Bruce Chapman University of Toronto Law Journal Vol 50 2000)

This is a fascinating work and a piece of great scholarship.... History remembers books which make a real challenge to our thinking, and this is such a book. (David Jabbari, Legal Studies)

the book is an excellent resource for the growing body of academics interested in chance and lotteries. (Barbara Goodwin, THES)

Among legal academics, Duxbury's explicit challenge to the supremacy - or hubris - of reason should spark some fireworks. (Barbara Goodwin, THES)

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Chance inevitably plays a role in law but it is not often that we consciously try to import an element of randomness into a legal process. Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-Making explores the potential for the use of lotteries in social, and particularly legal, decision-making contexts. Utilizing a variety of disciplines and materials, Neil Duxbury considers in detail the history, advantages, and drawbacks of deciding issues of social significance by lot and argues that the value of the lottery as a legal decision-making device has generally been underestimated.

The very fact that there exists widespread resistance to the use of lotteries for legal decision-making purposes
betrays a commonly held belief that legal processes are generally more important than are legal outcomes. Where,
owing to the existence of indeterminacy, the process of reasoning is likely to be excessively protracted and the
reasons provided strongly contestable, the most cost-efficient and impartial decision-making strategy may well be recourse to lot. Aversion to this strategy, while generally understandable, is not necessarily rational. Yet in law, as Professor Duxbury demonstrates, reason is generally valued more highly than is rationality.

The lottery is often conceived to be a decision-making device that operates in isolation. Yet lotteries can frequently and profitably be incorporated into other decision-frameworks. The book concludes by controversially considering how lotteries might be so incorporated and also advances the thesis that it may sometimes be sensible to require that adjudication takes place in the shadow of a lottery.

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