Does procedural justice help authorities when people question the underlying legitimacy of the law?

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Title Does procedural justice help authorities when people question the underlying legitimacy of the law?
Author Murphy, Kristina; Tyler, Tom R.; Curtis, Amy
Journal Name Regulation & Governance
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract Procedural justice generally enhances an authority's legitimacy and encourages people to comply with an authority's decisions and rules. We argue, however, that previous research on procedural justice and legitimacy has examined legitimacy in a limited way by focusing solely on the perceived legitimacy of authorities and ignoring how people may perceive the legitimacy of the laws and rules they enforce. In addition, no research to date has examined how such perceptions of legitimacy may moderate the effect of procedural justice on compliance behavior. Using survey data collected across three different regulatory contexts – taxation (Study 1), social security (Study 2), and law enforcement (Study 3) – the findings suggest that one's perceptions of the legitimacy of the law moderates the effect of procedural justice on compliance behaviors; procedural justice is more important for shaping compliance behaviors when people question the legitimacy of the laws than when they accept them as legitimate. An explanation of these findings using a social distancing framework is offered, along with a discussion of the implications the findings have on enforcement.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-5991.2009.01043.x
Volume 3
Issue Number 1
Page from 1
Page to 26
ISSN 1748-5991
Date Accessioned 2011-03-30
Date Available 2011-06-08T06:43:57Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance; ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Criminology; Law and Society
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/39091
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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