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Vol 22 No 12 Dec 17/Jan 18

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McGregor on Damages

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Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-making New ed

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Neil DuxburyProfessor of Law, Manchester University

ISBN13: 9780199253531
ISBN: 0199253536
Published: April 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback 1999)
Price: £39.49

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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. This text 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.

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Introduction; 1. The Spectre of Chance; 2. Contextualizing the Lottery; 3. Relying on Luck; 4. Dicing with Justice; 5. Lotteries Within Legal Frameworks; Conclusion; Index