U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Justice and Efficiency in Dispute Systems

NCJ Number
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (1990) Pages: 207-230
E H Norton
Date Published
24 pages
This analysis of the limitations of many traditional dispute resolution systems and the use of alternatives uses the redesign of the complaint processing system at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during 1977-81 to show the usefulness of an interest analysis in evaluating informal dispute resolution approaches.
As courts become excessively burdened by their own processes and formalism, lawyers and judges are increasingly turning to alternative methods of dispute settlement. However, traditional systems continue to be tolerated regardless of their results and apparent obsolescence. The crisis at the EEOC was so profound and public that restructuring appeared to be the only viable solution. To deal with its inefficiency, a rapid process called Rapid Charge Processing (RCP) was established at the start of the existing process. RCP consisted of an extensive professional intake interview, a fact-finding conference, and, where appropriate, a settlement attempt. The EEOC used the following three criteria to determine if RCP rendered justice: 1) whether the interests of the parties in justice were met, 2) whether the efficiencies released resources for broad efforts to reduce discrimination, and 3) whether RCP prevented further backlogs. The experience with RCP demonstrates the importance and usefulness of developing measures to assess the quality of justice of both formal and informal systems. 53 footnotes.