How Civil Justice Reacts To Bitcoin Custody

Anarba Groub

Conflict is part of human nature. Civilizations are defined by how they resolve disputes. Hamurabi’s code was notorious for its merciless application of “an eye for an eye.” Autocrats from King Solomon to James I meted out rough justice in royal courts, often arbitrarily, and with no opportunity for further review. And without even these harsh systems, individuals were left to fend for themselves, resorting to violence to resolve interpersonal conflict.

The rise of the civil justice system marked a welcomed turn toward fairness and peaceful rationality in dispute resolution. To be sure, this system is still backed by the sovereign’s monopoly on violence, but it provides for an amicable adjudication of claims based on evidence and argument given by all litigants, as well as judgments that are reviewable for error. Wrongs are remedied not through vengeance, but compensation. The civil justice system seeks to make the injured party whole. And it does this by shifting value from the liable party to the injured party through money judgments.

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David Wilkins, faculty director of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, recently sat down with David F. Levi, the Levi Family Research Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and director of the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School, to talk about the judicial profession. David B. […]