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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83823 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating Judicial Performance - Problems of Measurement and Politics (From Analysis of Judicial Reform, P 121-134, 1982, Philip L DuBois, ed. - See NCJ-83815)
Author(s): J P Ryan
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of trial courts and the content of judicial work are discussed as background for analyzing the contrasting ways in which individual judicial performance has been and can be measured.
Abstract: Judicial work in trial courts requires a diverse set of skills, and few judges are likely to be highly proficient in all skill areas. The views of judges parallel recent literature suggesting that the work of trial judges is heterogeneous. If judicial performance is to be measured meaningfully, this fundamental diversity must serve as the underpinning. Measures pertaining to numbers of cases disposed relate only to the administrative-managerial aspects of judicial work. Measures of the number of jury or bench trials heard speak only to a judge's adjudicative skills. Qualitative modes and measures of judicial performance frequently fail to be adequately eclectic in the criteria on which they seek evaluation. Most bar polls, for example, give little attention to the trial judge's administrative tasks and even less attention to the judge as negotiator or mediator. Organizations aiming to improve judicial performance through continuing education, such as State judicial education associations, likewise fail to emphasize tasks other than adjudication. Differences in models of judicial evaluation reflect less upon views of the proper role or functions of judges than upon the political cultures that surround courts in the various States. Which method of evaluation is better may depend upon how one views the import of public participation in the government and life of the polity. Thirty-one references are provided.
Index Term(s): Judges; Personnel evaluation
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