court decisions

A Modest Proposal to reform the justice system.

The problem with justice is overconfidence: People think they are right beginning from the moment they understand the issue well enough to form an opinion—and often earlier. The way forward is not to talk about it more, the philosophy solution that slows everything down without producing insight, but to bring in experience from the real world, to conduct experiments, the physics solution.

Therefore I propose that all courts with more than one judge should work a little differently. After hearing a case, the judges write individual opinions. The winning opinion is chosen randomly.

With a greater variety of policies tried out in the real world, we’ll have more evidence of which ones work in practice. Judges are generally thoughtful and professional, so they will pay attention to this evidence and, on average, write more informed opinions than used to be possible. There we are, one step closer to paradise on Earth.

Original version, April 2007.
Updated and added here March 2010.