Sample Research Paper on Diversity of Judges in Judicial Courts

Diversity of Judges in Judicial Courts

Studies have shown there is need to consider the composition of judges in the judicial system. There is need to include more women lawyers and minority in the judicial bars. It is a reality that even with the diversity of the American citizens and diversity of the law students at the law school; it still happens that one gets to see bars full of white male judges. The diversity is very important for the court as it upholds its legitimacy, and it also plays a very important part when it comes to delivery of justice to the American citizens.

There has been efforts and reviews all aimed at correcting this issue of diversity and one can now  see improvement in the number of women and the minority groups in the bars. The judicial officials have the duty and responsibility of maintaining and ensuring survival of a good political environment. If the courts have judges from different backgrounds then the judicial system will earn the trust of many.

In some cases where diversity was ensured during recruitment, the system failed to maintain the number with time and again ending with a number that is favoring the majority, however, united states has seen new directions in the recent past by recognizing that with diversity, one is not just talking about being white and black but it goes beyond that. The state has incorporated various types of diversity programmes for different law firms. The government has made efforts to try to ensure diversity right from high schools and in this case schools have been urged to encourage students from various backgrounds to join the law programmes and so it is up to the schools to provide an environment that would attract the minority groups into their law related courses (Malia, Michael & Rachel, 2009). Some researches that have been done in the recent past have been aimed at finding ways of how best to evaluate applicants in law schools using their varied backgrounds, capabilities and skills.

Law schools have been encouraged from other institutions that have diversity programmes to promote diversity in their classes. They also engage in teaching lessons about different areas along different ethnic communities. ABA report to the president about diversity made recommendations for different offices and law schools that could be used to ensure diversity in the United States of America. The recommendations were divided into four main parts namely; Law schools and academy, law firms and corporate law departments, the judiciary and government and lastly the associations of the bar.

Law Firms and Academy

Due to their vital position in improving and promoting diversity in the legal profession, they have been urged by state to ensure that diversity is ensured in their student selection and also taught in the law classes so that graduates of these law schools know the need for diversity in the judicial system. The graduates are also taught on how to respect the voice of the majority while accommodating voice of the minority in the society, as this is the basis of democracy in the society and which is upheld by the judicial system.

The schools also work closely with experts in the legal profession to improve diversity in their classes. In their law faculties, law schools are encouraged to ensure they hire and retain tutors from varied backgrounds and give more support to issues touching on diversity and even fund research related to diversity, offer scholarship to students from various backgrounds to ensure that diversity is achieved at all cost. The career guidance tutors encourage and motivate learners from varied backgrounds on the benefits of legal jobs and the law schools also carry out legal workshop to reach out to potential students from others backgrounds that are not well represented in the judicial system. The schools can also create forums online in form blogs, bulleting blogs among others so that students and the public can post on issues touching on diversity.

Law Firms & Corporate Legal Department

They continually look at diversity aims and collect information on the current state of diversity in the judicial system. The Attorney General’s office also implements diversity actions plans that are aimed at ensuring diversity in the system. The officers have made good efforts in trying to retain law professionals from varied backgrounds. They also carry out frequent trainings to create awareness on diversity and encourage the legal stakeholders to emulate the spirit of inclusion in all levels in their offices.

The offices have been participating on debates touching on diversity, assessing diversity in various legal offices and looking for other better ways of improving diversity in the judicial system. They also provide information on what various legal offices are doing to ensure diversity and also encourage members of the public to make enquiries on any legal office and see their stand on the diversity and whatever steps they are taking to promote diversity in the judicial system.

Judiciary and the Government

The judiciary and the government have been implementing initiatives to improve on the number of judges that come from different backgrounds and advocate for inclusion in the recruitment process and even during downsizing. The government also encourages practicing judges to take short-part time classes touching on diversity at least twice a year. The government also keeps data on diversity issues and partners with legal associations to carry out mentorship programmes that would help accommodate more groups.

Bar Associations

The associations identify various forms of diversity and state the standards for each group while ensuring consistency in carrying out these standards. They also ensure that the system discourage omission of members based on their varied backgrounds. The associations work closely with the government in ensuring bars depict the varied culture of the American people and that it is not dominated by one group.

Step 2

In the North Carolina, rights of victims of a crime are stated in the federal law under justice for all acts: which had all areas that touched on the victims of a crime was signed into law by the then president George W. Bush on 30th October, 2004. The state ensures that all victims who have been made to go through pain, loss, hurting situation, loss to property or part of the body, may  be a result of being assaulted sexually, violence at home, driver under the influence of drugs, abuse of the an elder, robbery among other crimes

However, in Nov, 1996, the North Carolina voters amended the constitution to include section 37 of article 1 which established the crime victims act whose main aim is to let victims know of their rights during the process of the cases facing them in the judicial system of North Carolina. In the article published on North Carolina department of justice journal, “Crime victims’ bill of rights” victims to a crime have the following rights (“North Carolina department” n.d):

  1. The right to be protected from the defendant
  2. The right to a reasonable and timely proceedings
  3. The right to be left out of crime proceedings
  4. The right to be heard
  5. The right to consult with attorney General
  6. The right to complete and timely restoration
  7. The right to free proceedings
  8. The right to be treated with fairness and respect to his privacy and dignity.

In the recent past, North Carolina has been faced with the hard question on how to deal with crime victims especially those of the capital crimes, questions have been asked on how best to deal with these victims, their families and even the appropriateness of capital punishment on these victims.

A group by the name of victims’ rights movement was formed with the main aim of ensuring that victims are treated fairly. According to article “victim’s rights”, This group ensured that the victims are allowed to attend all the court proceedings on their case, takes care of all the financial responsibilities of the victim during trials and also to make sure that the victim’s cases are dealt with as a fast as possible so that the victims can know what is next in their lives and that perpetrators are given less lenient punishment (“American civil liberties”, 2012).The group made it a priority to improve on the ways that victims are being treated when they face the judicial system and to ensure enforcement of victims rights during trial and this has so far ensured there is balance in enforcement of crime-victims’ rights at all times and to check on the court’s failures to control the crime rates.

These has ensured that in the recent past, victims of a crime are given the respect they deserve while at the same time ensuring that their dignity is upheld at all time. The judicial officers now have to work very hard to ensure that the victims’ cases are given much attention and time that they need and handle as fast as possible.

This however has also seen the trend of more convictions coupled with very harsh punishments, the tough laws on driving and the introduction of minimum sentence has been as a result of these attentions given to the victims’ rights. The victim’s right got a huge boost in the case of Payne v Tennessee of 1991 whereby the court reversed its decision, which was initially against the victim to the one that favored the victim of the crime.

More emphasis on the victim of the crime has led to introduction other ways of settling disputes especially if the cases are minor (“Reddick, Nelson & Caufield, 2010).). When the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim is so important then mediation has been preferred to prosecution. This has led to the formation of the movement known as restorative justice. This means that the number of cases that reach the courts for prosecution has been reduced by the victims’ rights.

With these developments in the crime victim’s right, the criminal law proceedings in North Carolina have now evolved so much to ensure the safety and interest of victims is considered first by minimizing delays and ensured that the offenders restore the damage in the most appropriate way possible. It has also ensured that victims are entitled to attend all the proceedings regarding their cases, and that the cases given a reasonable sentencing that deserve.

The victims’ right should not be enshrined in the constitution of the united states of American until it clearly describes how it will ensure that the defendants’ rights are guarded against abuse by the government, and that it will not reduce criminal court proceedings to a battle of supremacy between the victim and the crime perpetrator.

 

References

Crime victims’ bill of rights. (n.d). North Carolina department of justice. Retrieved from:

http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/afe94055-3b62-42be-86bc-499a0a8e2d46/Crime-Victims-Bill-of-Rights.aspx

Reddick, M., Nelson, M. J., & Caufield, R. P. (2010). Examining diversity on state courts: How does the judicial selection environment advance—and inhibit—judicial diversity? American Judicature Society. Retrieved December, 3, 2014.

: http://oapaba.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Diversity-on-the-Bench-Examining-Diversity.pdf

Reddick, M., Nelson, M. J., & Caufield, R. P. (2009). Racial and Gender Diversity on State Courts-An AJS Study. Judges J., 48, 28.

 

Victims’ rights. (2012). American civil liberties. Retrieved from: http://uscivilliberties.org/themes/4664-victims-rights.html