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Negotiating by the Light of the Law

Negotiating by the Light of the Law

A report on the effect of law on the negotiation of disputes

By Matt Harvey, Maria Karras and Stephen Parker


How much discretion or “leeways of choice” should be enjoyed by judges and others whose job it is to apply the law?

Negotiating by the Light of the Law reports on a project where the researchers tested claims made about the relative merits of fixed rules and discretionary principles on negotiation in legal disputes. The researchers selected contrasting norms extracted from family law and contract law for testing, undertook an extensive literature review and created simulation experiments for lawyers.

The findings provide valuable insight into whether more or less discretion is conducive to settlement, and into the way lawyers negotiate.


Reflections on Norm Form and Negotiation
Empirical Research and Results
Analysis of Results and Implications for Lawmakers
A Instructions, Scenario and Relevant Laws for Family Law simulation
B Instructions, Scenario and Relevant Law for Contract Law simulation
C Questionnaire
D Briefing for Observers
E Summary of Simulations
F Tabulated Results of Participant Surveys

Published 21 September 2012
Publisher Themis Press
ISBN 9781921113062
Australian RRP $74.95
International Price $70.00
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Law - Alternative Dispute Resolution

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