A National Partnership Working for Fair and Impartial Courts
Contact Us Home April 20, 2018
More than 90% of Americans believe judges should not hear cases involving individuals or groups that contributed to their campaign
Source: USA Today/Gallup
2009 National Poll
 

Judicial Accountability & Evaluations

Rebecca Kourlis

"For every court system in the United States, judicial performance evaluation is an idea whose moment has come.

—Rebecca Love Kourlis, former Colorado justice and director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal system

To be fair and impartial, judges must be protected from special interest and partisan influence. But they also must remain accountable to the law and Constitution. How can the public know whether their judges are indeed doing their jobs properly?
 
Judicial Performance Evaluations, used in 17 states, are a significant tool. These evaluations draw input from everyone who has contact with a judge—jurors, witnesses, lawyers and court personnel—and report the cumulative feedback on a judge’s performance.
 
Public education and feedback to judges are two important benefits. Nine states make their findings public. The other states show evaluations only to judges and decision-makers.
 
JPE programs focus on competence, not ideology. By examining such areas as fairness, temperament, punctuality and clarity of decisions, judicial evaluations assess a judge’s professional skills without making value judgments about specific rulings.

See Judicial Accountability & Evaluation Resources.

 
 
 
The positions and policies of Justice at Stake publications and campaign partners are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of other campaign partners or board members.
Website Design in Iowa by Global Reach