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Ill. S.C. Institutes Peer-Review of Some 900 Judges

Posted Dec 2, 2008 1:36 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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The Illinois judiciary is taking a page from the business community by instituting a new peer-review program to evaluate the state's more than 900 sitting judges.

Until Monday when the state supreme court made it official, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Program was voluntary, the Daily Herald reports.

Among other things, the new protocol requires judges to undergo a review of opinions and be evaluated by attorneys and court personnel at least once during their terms.

The evaluation process, peer review and a general statement of expectations for judges is meant to bolster the public's confidence in the judiciary, according to a news release from the supreme court (PDF).

"The program is similar to peer review groups used by successful businesses around the country," Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald said in the release. "The voluntary program over the years has provided us with a wealth of information that will be very useful in developing a revised format."

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