We use axiomatic and Bayesian methods to model information and decisions in a hierarchical judicial system. Axioms represent constraints that rules of evidence, procedure, and higher court review impose at the trial level; a one-parameter family of functions provides their unique continuous solution. This generates a type space for the appeals stage wherein the appellant and the appeals court each receive private signals of a yet superior court's value of the parameter, reflecting its interpretation of the law. The appeals court uses the defendant's choice about appeal to improve its estimate of the superior court's interpretation of the law.
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Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
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