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martes, 30 de agosto de 2011

La eficiencia de la Ley del Talión

analyses the development of punitive and compensatory remedies in ancient law, with special reference to the lex talionis (the familiar principle of “an eye for an eye”). Although the talion law is sometimes perceived today as unacceptably primitive, it represented an advance in ancient law by limiting the scope of retaliation which a person could inflict on an injurer.
Dice Parisi:
“The talionic rules of this period serve two main purposes. First, they create an upper limit to retaiatory justice: only one life for a life can be vindicated, no more. Second, they serve as minimum punishment for the criminal: no less than the law requires.
Continúa Miller
Parisi argues that the one-to-one ratio imposed by the lex talionis dealt with a dynamic instability problem under older systems with talionic multipliers greater than one, which tended to lead to destructive feud behaviours. He then demonstrates that once the lex talionis was in place, the parties to a dispute had the opportunity to engage in private bargaining around the rule. Since aside from obtaining a feeling of revenge, the victim achieves nothing by inflicting the same harm on the injurer, and the injurer incurs a considerable cost, the parties can make themselves jointly better off by agreeing on some time of monetary compensation – a bargaining process that Parisi conjectures was a precursor to systems of monetary compensation and, eventually, to schedules of fixed pecuniary penalties.
Miller, Geoffrey P., Economics of Ancient Law (August 17, 2010). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-36. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1660417
Dice Parisi que “once legalized and regulated, the practices of physical retaliation tend to disappear” y la gente que ha resultado herida por otro no inflige una herida proporcional Y es porque la gente no saca mucha utilidad de sacarle el ojo al que te ha herido (por eso, El mercader de Venecia es una obra de ficción, porque Shylock no actúa racionalmente). La negociación de una indemnización monetaria (blood-money) aparece como una alternativa obvia y una garantía para la víctima de que el causante del daño cumplirá pagando la indemnización. Y cita las XII tablas, “Si membrum rup[s]it, ni cum eo pacit, talio esto”:
“so that, if a person has maimed another’s limb, there should be retaliation in kind, unless victim and injurer reach an agreement for compensation… The rise and fall of retaliatory justice is readily explained considering that the lex talionis gives an enforceable and disposable right to the victim: the right to perpetrate literal retaliation. This endowment is disposable, in the sense that the decision to retaliate is in the victim’s discretion. Under normal circumstances, the highest valuing individual for the talionic endowment is the wrongdoer (or his clan), who is destined to suffer the talionic loss. This merely assumes that the punishment imposes a loss to its recipient (i.e., on the wrongdoer) in excess of the amount of benefit or satisfaction enjoyed by those who impose it (i.e., the victim or his clan). Compensation (blood money) is therefore the price paid for the transfer of the right to retaliation to the highest valuing individual…physical retaliation remains a viable option, but the possibility to accept an offer of pecuniary compensation creates an immediate opportunity cost for the victim’s choice to demand literal talionis
¿Recuerdan lo de Ihering y su explicación de la salvaje regla romana de la Ley de las doce tablas “Tertiis nundinis partis secanto. Si plus minusve secuerunt, se fraude esto” (Tabla 3, nº 6 de la Ley de las doce tablas: “Al tercer día de mercado, los acreedores pueden descuartizar al deudor. Si los pedazos no resultan iguales no sea fraude” que generaba en los acreedores los incentivos para ponerse de acuerdo sobre el destino óptimo que dar al deudor.
Dice también que “in spite of the fixed 1:1 limit to legitimate retaliation, the lex talionis did not induce suboptimal levels of deterrence” (porque el dañante podía contar con la probabilidad de que no le pillasen y, por tanto, que no le aplicasen la retaliación). Porque, en los daños corporales o en los daños no intencionados, el beneficio que obtiene el dañante es inferior al perjuicio que causa a la víctima, por lo que, simplemente, obligar a compensar a las víctimas genera los incentivos adecuados en los dañantes (“the lex talionis never applied to the case of theft”). El diseño de la Ley trataba de minimizar la “autotutela” y así se explicaría, según Parisi, que el ladrón pillado in fraganti tuviera una pena muy superior al que es descubierto mucho después de haber robado (Posner dice que la distinta pena trata de reducir errores: es indudable que el ladrón pillado in fraganti es el ladrón pero es mucho más difícil determinar si un objeto fue robado hace años por su actual poseedor).
Y una ventaja adicional de la Ley del Talión es que no había que medir nada ni preocuparse por lo rico o pobre que fuera el dañante, o sea, era de aplicación sencilla. Su sencillez y coherencia con el sentido más elemental de justicia explica su enorme extensión en la antigüedad.
Por último, Parisi explica por qué la Ley del Talión no daba lugar a extorsiones por parte de las víctimas
First, …If the wrongdoer preferred to suffer physical penalties to paying the excessive pecuniary compensation demanded by the victim, it would be irrational for the victim to refuse a lower offer of compensation and carry out the actual talion. … In an iterated game, imposing physical penalties would not render future threats of retaliation any more effective… Second, and most compellingly, the wrongdoer’s willingness to pay is the best approximation of the true subjective value of the forgone physical mutilation. The wrongdoer’s highest offer to save his eye – by the very definition of revealed preference – indicates how much the wrongdoer values his eye. Absent budget constraints, the threat of proportional 1:1 retaliation is thus a mechanism that generates a level of compensation that, on average, approximates the economically efficient level of compensation.
Y de ahí, (de la generalización del “blood money”) a los códigos penales con penas fijas imperativas y predeterminadas, hay solo un paso

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