With grant funding from SJI and technical expertise from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the Elements of Judicial Excellence framework was created to support professional development of state trial court judges. This unique resource identifies three specific elements necessary to achieving judicial excellence and professional growth, including:
- Citizen of the Court Community: Ethics and Integrity; Engagement; and, Well-Being
- Informed and Impartial Decision Maker: Knowledge of the Law and Justice System; Critical Thinking; and, Self-Knowledge and Self-Control
- Leader of the Court Process: Managing the Case and Court Process; Building Respect and Understanding; and, Facilitating Resolution
Based on the Illinois state Circuit Court and associate judges model, the following guiding documents are included in this new resource:
- Elements of Judicial Excellence Framework: The framework and how to use it is detailed in this 39-page document that introduces concepts, provides citations and resources for further reading, and practical application by trail court judges.
- Elements of Judicial Excellence – Final Report: The complete project final report provides an overview of the framework and its development, explains how the framework can be appropriately used, identifies key lessons learned from the project experience, and describes several potential research directions. The report includes a technical appendix on data collection (Appendix A) and, importantly, the Elements of Judicial Excellence framework document (Appendix B).
Elements of Judicial Education combines established needs, best practices, and new insights that judges themselves believe are important to judicial excellence, as well as recommended strategies to support professional growth.