Research on procedural justice has provided ample evidence that people are concerned not only with the outcome of disputes but also with the fairness of the procedures used to resolve disputes. The majority of the studies examining the importance of procedural justice have been conducted in the United States and Western European countries. This study tests the generality of the procedural justice model by examining the importance of fair procedures to people in a non-Western country, Japan. This study also examines the meaning of a fair procedure from a legal perspective. Past studies have drawn the procedural justice criteria considered from social psychology. We examine several additional criteria derived from the legal concept of due process of law. Results indicate that fair procedures are more important to subjects than fair outcomes in both a traffic accident dispute and a breach of contract case. Furthermore, across both types of disputes, fairness concerns are more important than nonfairness concerns. These results are consistent with findings from studies conducted in Western countries. A new finding that emerges from the study is that the clarity with which a procedure is formulated and presented is a strong determinant of procedural justice judgments.
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