Legislators and legal scholars constantly develop new concepts for addressing judicial errors. Most of this activity involves identifying sanctions and compensations: what should one do once an error has been committed, how does one restore the breached legal order, how does one counteract damages and punish the judges responsible for the error? Rarely is the question raised whether the errors could have been anticipated and thus avoided. This book attempts to address three key issues. Is it possible to develop a taxonomy of the errors typically committed by judges? Why do these errors occur? Is it possible to prevent them? Using cognitive psychology, the author describes the recurrence of certain errors in the realm of civil law concerning the application of rules of deductive logic, the evaluation of testimony, inductive reasoning (such as causal inference); he also identifies techniques which can help prevent at least some fallacies.
Carlo Bona teaches Private Law in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Trento.