When corruption hits the judiciary: A global perspective on access to justice and corruption





Access to justice, corruption, global view, anti-corruption policy, acceso a la justicia, corrupción, visión global, política anticorrupción


This study asks if the level of corruption relates to perception of access to justice. Looking at the supply side of access to justice, a corrupt judicial system will imply that the less well-off cannot afford to gain their rights. However, does corruption widen a justice gap? Studies show that corruption relates to democracy, wealth and equality. The link between corruption and the judiciary is less studied. This study explores the general global relations statistically with use of data from 113 countries. Using multiple regression, it corroborates the classical debate on inequality and equal access to justice but critically contribute to this debate by finding that corruption has an independent and strong relation to access to justice. However, it also finds that income inequality continues to be of importance. This finding is not trivial but suggests that anti-corruption and equality policies may improve access to justice.

Este estudio se pregunta si el nivel de corrupción de un país está relacionado con la percepción del acceso a la justicia. Desde el punto de vista de la oferta de acceso a la justicia, un sistema judicial corrupto implicará que los menos pudientes no pueden permitirse asegurar sus derechos. Sin embargo, ¿la corrupción amplía la brecha de la justicia? Los estudios muestran que la corrupción se relaciona con la democracia, la riqueza y la igualdad, pero el vínculo entre la corrupción y el poder judicial está menos estudiado. Este estudio explora estadísticamente el panorama global general con el uso de datos de 113 países. Utilizando la regresión múltiple, corrobora las conclusiones establecidas sobre la desigualdad y la igualdad de acceso a la justicia, pero contribuye de manera crítica a este campo al encontrar que la corrupción tiene una relación independiente y fuerte con el acceso a la justicia. Este hallazgo sugiere que tanto las políticas anticorrupción como las de igualdad pueden mejorar el acceso a la justicia.

Available from: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1354


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Author Biographies

Karin Pedersen, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University

Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. Email address: khp@ps.au.dk

Lars Johannsen, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University

Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. Email address: johannsen@ps.au.dk


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How to Cite

Pedersen, K. and Johannsen, L. (2023) “When corruption hits the judiciary: A global perspective on access to justice and corruption ”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 13(4), pp. 1258–1280. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1354.