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An empirical analysis of case disposition time in Belgium

 Samantha Bielen, Wim Marneffe and Lode Vereeck (2015)

This paper analyzes the determinants of case disposition times in Belgian first instance courts by exploiting a unique dataset of 174 court cases. Unlike previous studies, our analysis focuses mainly on case-level determinants. Regression results show that the use of expert assessments on average prolongs overall disposition time by 902 days. Furthermore, the number of pleadings, as a proxy of case complexity, also significantly impacts the duration of trials. Additionally, results indicate that case outcomes, such as settlements or plaintiff wins, are significant determinants of case duration. In addition to case-level characteristics, our results indicate that two civil procedure reforms aimed at accelerating adjudication led to a major decrease of case duration in Belgian first instance courts.

Review of Law and Economics 11/2, p. 293-316.

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