To establish the Office of Fairness and Accountability within the Administrative Office of the Courts.
To identify the objectives of the Office of Fairness and Accountability.
To identify the duties of the Director of the Office of Fairness and Accountability.
This rule shall apply to the judicial branch.
Statement of the Rule:
(1) Establishment of the Office. The Office of Fairness and Accountability is established within the Administrative Office of the Courts to organize and lead the judicial branch in examining and addressing processes and outcomes within the judicial branch that contribute to or cause the unequal treatment of individuals based on factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, and any other status protected by law.
(2)(A) The Office shall support the judicial branch in its efforts to ensure that Utah courts are achieving the judicial branch’s mission to provide an open, fair, efficient, and independent system to advance access to justice under the law.
(2)(B) The Office shall work collaboratively with other offices, departments, judges, commissioners, court employees, boards of judges, and Judicial Council standing committees.
(2)(C) The Office shall advance efforts to eliminate bias from court operations, promote equal access to the courts, support efforts to diversify the bar and bench, and inspire a high level of trust and public confidence in the judicial branch.
(3) Director Duties. The Director of the Office of Fairness and Accountability shall:
(3)(A) Create and operationalize a strategic plan that includes the following areas of focus:
(3)(A)(i) Identifying and addressing racism and other forms of bias within the justice system by:
(3)(A)(i)(a) Engaging in community outreach and serving as a liaison between the courts and other agencies and organizations;
(3)(A)(i)(b) Networking with community partners such as the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, Diversity Offices, universities, and community organizations; and
(3)(A)(i)(c) Partnering on access to justice initiatives and projects.
(3)(A)(ii) Conducting data collection and research through:
(3)(A)(ii)(a) Collaboration with national experts and thought leaders to identify, gather and analyze relevant data; and
(3)(A)(ii)(b) Coordination with Court Data Services and Information Technology Services to capture and report relevant data.
(3)(A)(ii)(c) Collection and analysis of jury information, including juror selection, service, and pools.
(3)(A)(iii) Coordinating with the Utah Judicial Institute to develop education curriculum and training for judicial officers and employees on issues including but not limited to:
(3)(A)(iii)(a) cultural competency;
(3)(A)(iii)(b) racial bias, implicit bias, institutional bias, and individual biases; and
(3)(A)(iii)(c) any other relevant issues.
(3)(A)(iv) Monitoring Human Resources implementation of best practices for recruitment and retention, and collaborating with Human Resources on:
(3)(A)(iv)(a) the recruitment and selection of court commissioners and employees; and
(3)(A)(iv)(b) obtaining and analyzing data.
(3)(A)(v) Collaborating with the Utah State Bar, schools, and other organizations to encourage individuals from marginalized communities to qualify and apply for judicial positions.
(3)(B) Serve as a resource for persons in historically marginalized communities within the justice system and work to increase cultural awareness, foster greater appreciation of racial and cultural diversity, and engender mutual respect in persons who deliver court services and represent our justice system
(3)(C) Make recommendations for improvement in court processes, procedures, and policies as they relate to race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, and any other status protected by law.
(3)(D) Oversee the interpreter and language access programs, communication and public information programs, and judicial outreach programs.
(3)(E) Review and report on the efficient allocation and fair application of available resources to address issues of unequal treatment within the judicial system.
(3)(F) Implement standards, policies, and rules as directed by the State Court Administrator and Judicial Council.
(3)(G) Report to the Judicial Council at least annually.
(4) The Director shall provide support to any committee or task force created by the Judicial Council for the purpose of developing a strategic plan for the Office.
The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.