Neil Duxbury

in Random Justice

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268253
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683466 | DOI:

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Within the literature of legal philosophy, the idea of deciding by lot to dispense justice is almost wholly insignificant. It is a quirky idea that sometimes serves as a foil for those endeavouring to develop themes which are considered far more compelling and enlightening. At other times, the notion of deciding by lot is given the most cursory of treatments — examined and packed away within, say, the space of a footnote. Lotteries take many forms. They may be constructed or natural. They may be simple or complex. They may accord even chances or they may be (deliberately or naturally) biased. They may operate in isolation or in combination with other modes of decision-making. Conscious appeal to, and reliance on, chance are practices not uncommon to certain cultures and historical periods. This book also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of randomized social decision-making, as well as the arguments in favour of randomization. In addition, it advances a distinctly tentative argument for what is termed adjudication in the shadow of a lottery.

Keywords: lotteries; chance; randomization; social decision-making; adjudication; legal philosophy; justice

Chapter.  2524 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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