UofT Law faculty authors: 

Anthony Niblett, 'Tracking Inconsistent Judicial Behavior', 34 International Review of Law & Economics 9 (2013)


This paper explores the phenomenon of inconsistent judicial decisions. We analyze inconsistency in 174 legal decisions from the California Court of Appeal that determine whether or not an arbitration provision in a contract is enforceable as written. We map the facts of cases and introduce a new methodology for measuring inconsistency, directly comparing each case with every precedent. Our results indicate that cases are inconsistent with about one-quarter of relevant precedents. Inconsistency is highly correlated with conflicting political ideology of the judges on the benches that hear the two cases. Inconsistency also correlates with the publication of cases and the non-publication of precedents.

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