The judicial system of New York State grew from its colonial roots, and is fundamentally different from the older systems of England and the Continent, though alike in spirit. As Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye tells us in the Foreword to the 1997 Court of Appeals publication found in this section, " fundamental ways we build on, and endlessly continue, the excellent work of our predecessors." Through a look at the histories of the courts that make up the New York State judicial system, we hope to enlighten the future. The principles that the courts of New York have always worked to protect - justice, fairness, and equal treatment under the law - clearly emerge as we look back on this history.

NYS Court of Appeals (The State's Highest Court): Its HistoryThe Four Departments of the Appellate Division: Their Histories
NYS Supreme Court: Its HistoryOther New York Courts: Their Histories

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