Procedural justice research primarily examines disputants' reactions to court, where outcomes are determined by judges/juries. It is less focused on restorative justice procedures, where disputants themselves choose outcomes. In a laboratory study, participants (n = 46) distributed a resource and judged procedural fairness, following an encounter with either a biased or a neutral experimenter, and a polite or impolite confederate. There was a significant interaction of experimenter bias and confederate politeness on fairness judgments. Findings suggest that, to understand offender responses to interactive legal procedures, such as restorative justice conferences, we must consider the behavior of all conference participants.
Paper presented at the 4th International Congress of Psychology and Law, held in conjunction with the 2011 Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Society, Miami, Florida, United States, 02-05 March 2011