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A Matter of DisputeMorality, Democracy, and Law$
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Christopher J. Peters

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387223.001.0001

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A simple model of dispute resolution

A simple model of dispute resolution

(p.69) 3. A simple model of dispute resolution
A Matter of Dispute

Christopher J. Peters (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins articulating a dispute-resolution account of legal authority by hypothesizing a basic, bipartite dispute and developing, analytically, the essential features of a procedure capable of resolving it peacefully. It argues that a successful dispute-resolution procedure must be perceived by the disputants as reasonably accurate, and that the two essential ingredients of procedural accuracy are competence and impartiality. Disputants will have good reasons to agree to a procedure that is reasonably competent and impartial; they also, through the mechanism of constructive consent, will have good reasons to abide by the results of a reasonably competent and impartial procedure, even if they did not consent to it ex ante. These reasons for obedience can apply in multipartite social contexts as well, albeit in a more complex and contingent fashion. The value of reasonably accurate dispute resolution thus can support a general, non-absolutist account of legal authority, one that minimizes (although it does not entirely avoid) the flaws of rival accounts.

Keywords:   legal authority, dispute resolution, procedure, procedural accuracy, decisionmaking competence, impartiality, consent, constructive consent, analytic legal philosophy

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