University of Denver

Judicial Recusal Procedures

A Report on the IAALS Convening
Senior Fellow, IAALS
Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

Judicial recusal in appropriate circumstances is essential to ensuring a judiciary that is qualified and impartial and that inspires public trust. But states vary substantially in the key features of their judicial recusal procedures, and as a result, some procedures are more likely to inspire public trust in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary than others.

In late 2016, IAALS brought together judges, lawyers, court administrators, and scholars from around the country to consider best practices for judicial recusal procedures. This report is the result of that Convening. It makes eight recommendations for crafting recusal procedures that are efficient, transparent, and fair to both judge and litigant.