What You Need to Know

The statewide initiative on procedural fairness emerged from the Judicial Council's landmark 2005–2006 Public Trust and Confidence assessment and began in 2007. A booklet regarding the initiative is available. The council is committed to enhancing public trust and confidence in the California courts by supporting and promoting the branch policy of achieving procedural fairness in all types of cases.

The initiative is:

  • Identifying procedural fairness best practices and model programs;
  • Studying and evaluating efforts that have the potential to achieve procedural fairness for court users;
  • Developing procedural fairness guidelines, tools, and resources for judicial officers and judicial branch personnel;
  • Recommending educational programs and objectives to help judicial officers and personnel achieve procedural fairness; and
  • Making periodic recommendations to the Judicial Council regarding a variety of strategies and means to help the courts achieve procedural fairness.

Recent efforts

  • The Procedural Fairness Editorial Board, an advisory group composed of members of the California judicial branch, state and national experts, and leading academic professionals, was formed by the Administrative Director in 2009. The board has helped develop procedural fairness content and resources for the California Judicial Branch's Web redesign.
  • Procedural Fairness in California: Initiatives, Challenges, and Recommendations (May 2011), describes initiatives under way in California's civil and traffic courts and recommends ways to enhance and improve public perceptions of procedural fairness. The report also contains a brief self-assessment tool that court administrators can use to examine procedural fairness in their local jurisdictions.