David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
Date: May 13,1999
|Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System Releases Report|
|NEW YORK - The Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence
in the Legal System today released its report detailing strategies to address
public trust issues in New York. The release is timed to coincide with
the opening day of the National Conference on Building Public Trust and
Confidence in the Justice System in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the
American Bar Association, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference
of State Court Administrators.
The Committee was appointed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye in November 1998 to advise a five-person delegation representing New York at the national conference. Chief Judge Kaye will be among the five delegates to the national conference, along with Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, New York State Bar Association President James C. Moore, League of Women Voters of New York State President Evelyn Stock and New York Urban League President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott.
The advisory committee, chaired by Appellate Division Justice William C. Thompson and Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Frazee and comprising representatives of the bench and bar, the media, university professors, businesses, unions, civic groups, victim rights groups, legislators and local government officials, focused on five areas of inquiry - (1) bias and prejudice; (2) access to justice; (3) judicial administration; (4) legal and judicial ethics; and (5) media portrayal and public understanding. Earlier this year, the Committee conducted hearings to allow citizens to voice their concerns about the legal system in New York. The Committee then developed a list of public trust issues and strategies to address these issues, which is contained in the report released today.
Chief Judge Kaye said, "As I begin the first day of this historic national conference, I am grateful for the superb work of the Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System. Their comprehensive report identifies multiple areas of concern within our justice system and systematically proposes strategies to combat the problems. I look forward to sharing their excellent research and analysis with my colleagues at the conference in Washington and transforming the results of this national colloquy into real changes that can be implemented to improve the legal system in New York and to elevate the public's trust in the Judiciary."
Judge Lippman said, "All the committee members, and especially the chairs Justice Thompson and Justice Frazee, are to be commended for their contributions in creating this excellent report. Their work provides much insight on public perception of the justice system in our state and will help to inform our discussions at the conference."
The National Conference on Building Public Trust and Confidence in the Justice System will develop a national action plan and determine the role of national organizations in assisting states to effectuate their strategies. A subsequent conference will likely be held next year.
The Committee's report is available on the Internet at http://ucs.ljx.com or can be obtained by calling (212) 428-2500.