American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, 92-95


Copyright © 2011 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


In a white paper of the American Judges Association published in this journal, Judges Kevin Burke and Steve Leben present a powerful case for using the principles of procedural fairness:

Judges must be aware of the dissonance that exists between how they view the legal process and how the public before them views it. While judges should definitely continue to pay attention to creating fair outcomes, they should also tailor their actions, language, and responses to the public’s expectations of procedural fairness. By doing so, these judges will establish themselves as legitimate authorities; substantial research suggests that increased compliance with court orders and decreased recidivism by criminal offenders will result. Procedural fairness also will lessen the difference in how minority populations perceive and react to the courts.