Trial Courts and Adjudication

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    Empirical legal research into courts and adjudication starts with a formal model of trial courts and the nature of adjudication. This article discusses empirical legal research on trial courts and adjudication and divides them into three dimensions of analysis, macro, meso, and micro, to frame the discussion of empirical legal studies into courts and adjudication, the various methods researchers use, and significant findings. Empirical research may be theoretical, pragmatic or policy oriented. A large body of research approaches the study of courts and adjudication from an organizational perspective, looking at court structures and how they affect daily operation. Examining trial court judges' approaches to their work, including adjudication, using survey research has also been undertaken in non-English speaking jurisdictions. Each type of research design has specific strengths and advantages, as well as limitations, but each contributes to advancing knowledge about the nature, role, and reality of trial courts and adjudication.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191743641
    ISBN (Print)9780199542475
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2012


    • Adjudication
    • Courts
    • Empirical legal studies
    • Judges
    • Jurisdictions
    • Legal research


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