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How can we explain that judges are fair, impartial and open-minded when, for example, the academic examination of judicial decision-making has revealed convincing correlations between the political party of the appointing authority and the judge`s decisions on certain issues? (1) In determining his civil rights and obligations or a criminal complaint against him, every person has the right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The judgment shall be promulgated in public, but the press and the public may be excluded from the trial in whole or in part in the interests of morality, public order or national security in a democratic society if the interests of young people or the protection of the privacy of the parties so require, or to the extent that, in the Court`s view, in special circumstances, in which the public would prejudice the interests of the judiciary. The Fair Dealing Index tracks a variety of court decisions to help lawyers and non-lawyers better understand the types of uses that courts have previously found to be fair – or not fair. The decisions span several federal jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court, appellate courts, and district courts. Please note that while the index includes a wide range of cases, not all court opinions on fair dealing. The Copyright Office will regularly update and expand the index. It`s a good idea to seek further advice if you think the right to a fair and public hearing might apply to you. My second story is about a debate I had with Judge Richard Posner of Northwestern Law School a few years ago. He had published his book “How Judges Think,” and I had looked at it somewhat critically.

At the end of our debate, he turned to me and asked, “Does Dean Levi seriously believe it would make a difference if Republican-appointed judges wore red robes and Democratic-appointed judges wore blue robes?” I said, “That would make a big difference, and it would be terrible. He replied, “It`s just not enough. He had the last word, but I don`t think he was right. Justice Posner probably thought about the Supreme Court, maybe the federal courts of appeal, and I think his view was that everyone already knows the party of the president who appointed the judge, so the color of the dress should not add information or have additional effects. What I wanted to say is that for judges who see themselves as members of different political teams or who present themselves wearing team jerseys, and for the experience of parties and lawyers to see judges ordered in this way, the reality and appearance of fair, impartial and impartial courts would be very destructive. Reality and appearance are in a constant feedback loop, and we must consider both in any discussion of independent and fair tribunals. Presidents and governors are often openly looking for lawyers to appoint judges who have had certain experiences, such as prosecutors, or who have expressed certain opinions on legal policy issues. Voters in judicial elections sometimes choose a judge candidate who presents himself as “tough on crime”, for example. But why, then, should we expect the judges who are selected for these reasons once they are in office to be identical to other judges in terms of attitude or legal philosophy chosen for other reasons? And there will be other factors that academic education will prove important in a group of cases – for example, the gender or age or education of the judge.

The most difficult thing is to explain why judges can be considered fair and impartial, even though, in some cases, they decide differently from other judges based on criteria such as appointing authority or gender that we can pursue and that are immutable. A fundamental principle of the right to a fair trial is that everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But in practice, there are many ways to undermine this right. Defendants are often treated like criminals before they have their day in court, for example, when law enforcement agencies parade arrested people in public places so they can be photographed by the media – also known as perp walks or by requiring defendants to carry restraints that make someone look dangerous. The presumption of innocence is also undermined by mass surveillance, the use of artificial intelligence to profile people, coercive police practices and pre-trial detention. But this is usually not the case. Let`s say a parent is the breadwinner. They make a million dollars a month. The second parent earns $500 a month. A fair solution is the solution that best serves both parents based on their needs – not what is technically right or equal.

It is a great honour for me to be with you today to talk about the importance of fair and impartial tribunals and the role of judicial independence in achieving that goal.