Journal article

Simplifying Legal Decisions: Factor Overload in Civil Procedure Rules


Melbourne University Law Review | Melbourne University Law Review Association | Published : 2017


This contribution examines the need to simplify legal decisions. More specifically, this article tackles a situation I refer to as ‘Factor Overload’. Legal rules are sometimes set in the form of ‘Laundry Lists’; that is, long sets of stipulated considerations that the judge must weigh. However, judges may encounter difficulty when trying to implement these checklist clauses. This difficulty is linked to our human cognitive limitations. Behavioural studies demonstrate that people struggle with the task of integrating a large number of factors. In order to test this phenomenon in the legal context, the article presents an investigation based on theoretical discussion, doctrinal analysis and th..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers