Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

American Journal of Comparative Law




If the ideal of justice is not pervasive in the United States, the issue of justice is-not so much in its rendition, but in its penetration of news, politics and entertainment. Current media issues include the death penalty--erroneous convictions and the lack of lawyers for appeals; tort reform--conflicting data on medical malpractice litigation and a perceived abuse of class actions; and the judiciary itself--judicial selection, political attacks on so-called "activist judges," and the sometimes hidden issue of court budgets. Within this fascination, the multiple problems in accessing justice are lost.

This article is excerpted from a report done for the 17th International Congress of Comparative Law, a quadrennial convention of lawyers and scholars. The full report on the United States is 47 pages, responding to questions posed by Professor Ugo Mattei to reporters from several countries. Space limitations for this symposium issue required the omission of much of the study, but readers wanting a copy of the full report may obtain it from the author. The selections here highlight the so-called litigation explosion in the United States and the costs of maintaining its court systems, with abridged discussions of other topics such as the consumer's costs in litigating and legal services for low income clients.

First Page


Last Page


Volume Number



Oxford University Press

Included in

Law Commons


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.