The undesirability of detailed judicial reasoning

Moshe Bar Niv*, Zvi Safra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we question the general practice in which Common Law based judicial systems produce detailed written decisions. The requirement to produce written court decisions is expensive and helps produce long delays. Furthermore, we show that the general applicability of detailed reasoning may be inefficient. Our method of proving this claim is to show that the individual litigants have almost nothing to gain from having a detailed written reasoning. In fact, most of the time, they are clearly better off by being able to switch to a policy that requires no written opinion. Our approach is most appropriate in circumstances of pecuniary private disputes where the parties involved act as rational utility, or profit, maximizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Law and Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Detailed judicial reasoning
  • Litigation process


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