Information acquisition and the exclusion of evidence in trials

Benjamin Lester*, Nicola Persico, Ludo Visschers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A peculiar principle of legal evidence in common law systems is that probative evidence may be excluded in order to increase the accuracy of fact-finding. A formal model is provided that rationalizes this principle. The key assumption is that the fact-finders (jurors) have a cognitive cost of processing evidence. Within this framework, the judge excludes evidence in order to incentivize the jury to focus on other, more probative evidence. Our analysis sheds light on two distinctive characteristics of this type of exclusionary rules. First, that broad exclusionary powers are delegated to the judge. Second, that exclusion on grounds of undue prejudice is peculiar to common law systems. Both features arise in our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-182
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law

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