Writing Style Influences Judges

Sciencedaily reports that judges in Switzerland are influenced by the writing style of criminal investigation reports that they read. Full article here.


The formal style of interrogation records influences the reception of judges and the decisions they take – even when the actual content is the same. This was shown in a large scale study in which 645 Swiss judges participated. To date, it had only been understood that minutes containing wrong or missing statements could provoke false rulings.

Interesting highlight:

The researches were surprised by the extent to how a confrontational interrogation style led the judges to doubt the proper execution of the interrogation. In their answers, they rated those interrogations as significantly less fair, less comprehensive and less competent than interrogations conducted in a more open style. State attorneys and police officers who portray themselves as hard and confrontational during interrogations should, according to this study, be careful: This approach could actually have the contrary effect and lead to their competence being questioned.

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