Australian tribunals and alternative dispute resolution: a procedural justice perspective

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This article explores the meaning of the concept of procedural justice in the context of the alternative dispute resolution ( ADR) procedures of tribunals. It argues that procedural justice should be regarded as informing such procedures, and this can be achieved not simply by transposing the legal rules of procedural fairness as they are currently constructed, but by viewing these procedures through the lens of relational factors. Empirical research in social psychology has consistently shown that individuals care deeply about procedural matters in both formal and informal settings, and relational factors such as voice, neutrality, dignified treatment, and trustworthiness play an important role in conveying messages of social inclusion and in enhancing the perceived legitimacy of legal institutions. The article argues that these beneficial effects provide a sound normative justification for taking perceptions of procedural justice seriously. The paper also examines a number of specific ADR mechanisms and assesses the potential of such procedures to satisfy these relational aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-462
Number of pages20
JournalCivil Justice Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • alternative dispute resolution
  • Australia
  • procedural justice


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