Today we are reblogging an excellent piece from the Procedural Fairness Blog. Another great blog to follow if you are interested in making legal systems more effective…

Procedural Fairness For Courts and Judges

As judges, we know that we should practice the principles of procedural fairness—voice, respect, neutrality, and trust. But what specific things might we do in the courtroom?

As part of its courtroom-communication training program for the state court in Milwaukee, the Center for Court Innovation put together a list of observable behaviors that court observers could look for to see whether judges were practicing these principles. Among the behaviors listed there:
· The court started on time.
· The judge apologized for any delay in the starting of court.
· The judge or other court staff clearly explained court etiquette and rules at the beginning of the court session.
· The judge provided some overview of what might happen during various court appearances and how decisions would be made.
· The judge assured the defendants that all of the evidence would be considered before making any decision.
· The judge…

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2 thoughts on “So What Courtroom Behaviors Promote Perceptions of Fairness?

  1. has anyone ever written about or studied behavior of court personnel: bailiffs, court officers, court clerks, sheriffs’ officers? My experience has been that the degree of rudeness or politeness from this cadre of judicial support staff is immensely important in determining whether a litigant (especially a minority, economically marginalized litigant) feels that the proceedings are fair?


    Best, Michael



    1. I don’t know of any research on this point but I did hear a great presentation about integrating trauma informed practice into a court setting at the International Law and mental health conf. This court trained all court staff, security, lawyers, prosecutors and judges in trauma informed practice. I going to see if the presenters of this will do a blog piece


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