University of Denver

IAALS Identifies Principles for Quality Court Systems and Judges (Press Release)

Former Senior Director

Denver, Colo. – IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announces the release of Cornerstones of State Judicial Selection: Laying the Foundation for Quality Court Systems and Judges, a new publication from IAALS' Quality Judges Initiative.

The report, based on diverse and expert opinion, recommends essential features of judicial selection systems and key roles for governors, legislatures, and citizens in those systems to ensure impartiality, accountability, and transparency in the selection of state judges.

Malia Reddick is the Director of the Quality Judges Initiative and oversaw the production of the report.

“At IAALS we believe that commission-based judicial appointment, with regular performance evaluation and retention elections, is the best way to ensure impartial and accountable courts and judges,” Reddick says. “However, we also recognize that the constitutional changes required to adopt such methods may not be feasible in some states, so in this publication we have coupled desired attributes for court systems and judges with principles or 'cornerstones' for the full range of judicial selection processes to achieve courts and judges of the highest quality.”

“Most of the Cornerstones recommendations do not require constitutional change,” Reddick says. “Most can be implemented through statutes or court rules.”

This publication is one of the ways that IAALS, through its Quality Judges Initiative, is identifying and recommending models for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges that preserve impartiality and promote accountability.

Copies of Cornerstones of State Judicial Selection are available upon request.

View/Download the press release