Top NY Judge Orders Independent Review Of Court System

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ALBANY – The top Judge in New York has commissioned an independent review of state justice system policies, procedures, and practices as part of ongoing efforts to advance equality under the law.

Judge Janet DiFiore. Image via

Spurred by George Floyd’s impact across the country, Judge Janet DiFiore announced Tuesday the evaluation of the court system as a response to questions of institutional racism.

Jeh Johnson—a lawyer who served as Secretary of Homeland Security and General Counsel for the Department of Defense under Obama—has been named Special Adviser on Equal Justice in the Courts, and will lead the in-depth review process.

Johnson’s independent review will thoroughly reexamine (and include recommendations about revising or expanding where appropriate):

  • Policies, programs, and practices that address or are affected by racism or racial biases
  • The structures, operations, and effectiveness of efforts to address systemic or implicit bias
  • Bias education and racial justice training practices for judges and personnel
  • Fairness, equity, and inclusiveness of selecting and appointing officers and employees
  • Operational issues within the power of the court system to implement


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