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Procedural Justice in a Tribunal Context: An Exploration and Extension of the Concept from a Human-Centred Design Perspective


Tina Popa, Ingo Oswald Karpen, Mark Richard Wright and Olivia Dean

Procedural justice (‘PJ’) recognises that court and tribunal users’ perceptions of the fairness of a legal process can impact upon their ability to accept and ‘live with’ a decision. This study offers a novel exploration of PJ through a human-centred design lens, using a full-journey perspective of users within a Victorian civil tribunal setting. Our study confirmed that existing PJ factors are relevant both in the case management of disputes and during hearings. Importantly though, this study identified additional factors that influence tribunal users’ satisfaction with the fairness of the process. Specifically, our study found balanced empathy, balanced power distance, holistic touchpoint alignment, and enhanced readiness are additional factors which contribute to PJ. This study reinforces the relevance of PJ in the tribunal context and expands the theoretical PJ construct. The findings have significant implications for a variety of legal contexts and contribute to an emerging domain labelled ‘legal design’.

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2022 45(4) UNSWLJ 1325: