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Public Education about the Colorado Judiciary

We at CJI support the merit selection system and judicial performance evaluation program in Colorado as an effective, efficient, and fair system for choosing and evaluating judges.  The system works most effectively when citizens are knowledgeable about the system and aware of where to acquire judicial performance evaluation information.  Sadly, public surveys conducted by organizations such as the League of Women Voters and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, we know that a large portion of Colorado voters do not have a complete understanding of the judicial merit selection system or the judicial performance evaluation program. 

To address the lack of public knowledge of our judicial selection and evaluation programs, CJI established the Public Education and Public Information Committees.

Public Education through OUR COURTS Presentations

In 2007 CJI partnered with the Colorado Bar Association to create the Our Courts public education program. Our Courts provides nonpartisan information programs to audiences around the state to further public knowledge and understanding of the state and federal courts in Colorado. Our Courts presentations and presenters take no position regarding any specific court case, legislation, ballot issue, or proposed change to the court system. 

1. Our State Courts -- Topics covered include merit selection, judicial performance evaluation, judicial retention, and the composition of various commissions.

2.  Our United States Courts -- Topics include judicial nominations, the types cases heard in federal courts, and the procedures that keep our federal courts fair and impartial.

Our Courts presentations have been delivered to groups and organizations such as community leadership programs, business and economic development associations, professional and trade associations, service organizations, community colleges, undergraduate and graduate schools, and vocational schools, libraries and other community organizations

Our Courts presentations are presented free of charge by trained judges and attorneys.  To schedule an Our Courts presentation or to learn more, email the CBA here or call (303) 860-1115.

The Our Courts partners are:
Colorado Bar Association
Colorado Judicial Institute
Colorado State Library
Colorado Community College System
Colorado District Judges Association
Colorado County Judges Association
Faculty of Federal Advocates
Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System  
League of Women Voters of Colorado
National Center for State Courts  
Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver
University of Colorado Law School
University of Colorado at Denver School of Public Affairs

The Our Courts program is always looking for additional volunteers.  Volunteers can serve as speakers (training is available), assist in developing presentation content, coordinate partner efforts, community outreach and assist in fund-raising.  Volunteers are encouraged to contact Our Courts via email or at 303-860-1115.

The CJI Public Education Committee is chaired by Dr. Elinor Greenberg. 

 

 


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Our Courts Education Program Wins ABA Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award
The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2000-2009

The Justice at Stake Campaign, Brennan Center for Justice and National Institute on Money in State Politics has released a ground breaking report on the staggering increse in spending in state high court elections.  The report not only details in the increase in the amount spent on judicial elections, but the individuals and groups providing the funds.  See the entire report here.

ABA President's Message Illustrates Need for Non-Partisan Selection Methods

No other nation in the world elects judges in the manner that over 30 states still do.  Contested elections present serious concern in that they erode public confidence in an impartial judiciary.  In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, ABA President Carolyn Lamm discusses the importance of ensuring judicial independence in the United States.  Read the entire article here.

Request an Our Courts Presentation

For information on how to schedule an Our Courts presentation, please Click Here or contact the program coordinator at (303) 860-1115.

Want to know how Colorado selects and evaluates judges?
2017 CJI Committee List

Interested in becoming more involved in CJI?  Click here for our list of committees.

Justice At Stake Poll: Judicial impartiality questioned by public in cases involving campaign contributors.

While Colorado does not have a judicial selection system that requires private fund raising for partisan judicial campaigns, the results of the Justice at Stake poll bolsters CJI's support of merit selection and non-partisan retention election systems as models to ensure fairness and public confidence in the judicial system.

Justice at Stake: Gavel Grab

Interested in judicial independence issues across the country?  Visit Gavel Grab, an online resource from the Justice at Stake Campaign.