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NCJ Number: 43599 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: TENSION OF POPULAR PARTICIPATION
Journal: STATE COURT JOURNAL  Volume:1  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1977)  Pages:9-11,29-34 51
Author(s): P NEJELSKI
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 77-DF-99-0021
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ASPECTS OF THE INCREASING DEMAND FOR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY OF COURT PERSONNEL ARE EXAMINED, WITH REFERENCES TO PROBLEMS IN SETTING STANDARDS OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND IN IMPLEMENTING ACCOUNTABILITY.
Abstract: AMONG FACTORS COMPLICATING THE FORMULATION OF ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE JUDICIARY IS THE NEED FOR THE COURTS TO BE BOTH ACCOUNTABLE AND INDEPENDENT. A FURTHER COMPLICATING FACTOR IS THE NATURE OF THE COURT AS A LOCUS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION. THE COMPLEX LINES OF AUTHORITY AND THE SEGMENTED NATURE OF RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PARTICIPANTS IN THE JUDICIAL PROCESS MAKE ACCOUNTABILITY A DIFFICULT PROBLEM. TWO BASIC QUESTIONS MUST BE ADDRESSED: (1) WHO SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COURTS AND BY WHAT CRITERIA SHOULD THE COURTS BE EVALUATED? (2) IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A VALID JUDGMENT CONCERNING WHO SHOULD BE HELD ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE COURT SYSTEM? TOO OFTEN, CRITERIA TEND TO FOCUS ON ASPECTS OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS THAT ARE QUICKLY AND SIMPLY QUANTIFIABLE BUT RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT. DESPITE THE PROBLEMS OF DETERMINING WHO SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE TO WHOM AND FOR WHAT, SEVERAL METHODS FOR IMPLEMENTING ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE COURTS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED. AMONG THESE ARE RETENTION ELECTIONS, JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE AND REMOVAL, BAR ASSOCIATION EVALUATIONS, AND COURT OBSERVER PROGRAMS. CAREFULLY WORKED OUT METHODS FOR ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY. MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM EVALUATION STRATEGIES AND OTHER ACCOUNTABILITY TECHNIQUES DEVELOPED IN OTHER PARTS OF GOVERNMENT. MORE COMPARATIVE STUDIES EXAMINING METHODS USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ARE NEEDED. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY CHALLENGES THE TRADITIONAL VIEW THAT THE COURTS CAN RETAIN THEIR POWER WITHOUT ANSWERING FOR ITS USE.
Index Term(s): Accountability; Citizen court watching; Criminal investigation; Evaluation criteria; Judge censure and removal; Judge retention elections; Judge selection; Quality control
Note: RESEARCH ESSAY SERIES NO-E004
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43599

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