General courts, specialized courts, and the complementarity effect

Ehud Guttel, Alon Harel, Yuval Procaccia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Among the major decisions any legal system must make is deciding whether to establish general courts with broad jurisdiction, or specialized courts with limited jurisdiction. Under one influential argument—advanced by both judges and legal theorists—general courts foster coherence within the legal system. This Article identifies a distinct effect of establishing general courts: the “complementarity effect.” In the case of complementarity, general courts strategically apply different principles in different fields, such that litigants losing in one sphere (e.g., public law) are compensated in another (e.g., private law). We support this conjecture by analyzing three case studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1021-1040
Number of pages20
JournalRegulation and Governance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Regulation & Governance published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


  • combat immunity
  • equality
  • freedom of expression
  • general and specialized courts
  • public and private law


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