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Executive Session for State Court Leaders Releases New Paper on Judicial Leadership

The recent release of The Politics of Restraint: State Judicial Leadership in the 21st Century, authored by Chief Justice (ret.) Jeff Amestoy of the Vermont Supreme Court marks the 11th paper in the Harvard Executive Session series.

The author discusses how judicial leaders should understand their role as extending beyond protecting and enhancing the budgetary and other needs of the state courts. Rather, using a voice that is both restrained and persistent, judicial leaders should articulate the importance of the judiciary in democratic society. The paper emphasizes how judicial independence is maintained through carefully crafted messages.

Beginning in 2008, SJI, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) collaborated to fund and support the Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century, hosted by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The Executive Session brought together over thirty leaders at all levels of the state courts, academia, media, private counsel, and national court support organizations, to define, discuss, and decipher state court issues and solutions. Their work concluded in late 2011, and has continued on through the authorship of these papers. Each paper has addressed an emerging or existing area of need presented during the Executive Session.

Upcoming papers include: maintaining judicial independence during a funding crisis; and improving court access and ensuring fair treatment to all who access the courts.

The entire series is available on the SJI website, and print copies have been distributed to the members of Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), and to the boards of directors of major court-related organizations. In an effort o reach the widest possible audience of judges, court administrators, and criminal justice professionals, the NCSC serves as a repository for all published Executive Session products and videos.