Our Quality Judges Initiative is dedicated to ensuring a judiciary that is qualified and impartial and that inspires public trust. Judicial recusal in appropriate circumstances is essential to achieving these objectives. However, states vary substantially in the key features of their judicial recusal procedures, and as a result, some procedures are more transparent, fair, and timely—and more likely to inspire public trust in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary—than others.
As part of our DIAALOGUES series, on November 3 and 4, 2016, IAALS brought together judges, attorneys, scholars, and citizens from around the country to consider best practices for judicial recusal procedures that are fair to both judge and litigant, and that are efficient and transparent. This invitation-only convening focused on the process of recusal and did not wade into questions regarding the appropriate or necessary reasons for recusal. The discussion built upon the important work that the Conference of Chief Justices and the Brennan Center for Justice have already conducted in this area.
Following the convening, IAALS prepared a comprehensive report on the recommendations that emerged and potential next steps.