The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the formation of a Committee on Equality, charged with promoting equality and fairness in all aspects of the administration of justice in Illinois Courts.
The Committee on Equality will consist of 15 judges and attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court. The membership of the Committee will reflect the diversity of the State of Illinois itself, based on age, race, gender, and background, as well as including members from urban, suburban, and rural parts of the state.
“The Supreme Court is committed to providing equal justice under the law to all who find themselves involved with the court system,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. “We are dedicated to the proposition that all litigants, witnesses, jurors, and members of the public should appreciate that our courts are free from bias and prejudice and that cases are decided purely on the basis of the law and the particular facts of each case.”
In 2013, at the Future of the Courts Conference, a number of ideas and suggestions were generated during a discussion of the need to address public perceptions of fairness and equality in the actions of the judicial branch. The Court then asked the Executive Committee of its Judicial Conference to consider the various ideas and to recommend specific actions. The creation of the new Committee on Equality is one step in that process.
“The Committee on Equality has been given an important and challenging mission – to understand public perceptions of the judicial process and to propose innovative ways to make the judicial branch more understandable and responsive to the public,” Chief Justice Garman said.