Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts has been instrumental in the effort to eliminate all forms of bias from Pennsylvania’s court system. We continue this work and are pleased that the Court System, the State Legislature and the Governor are partners in this endeavor.
Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is dedicated to eliminating all forms of bias, including racial, gender and ethnic bias, from Pennsylvania’s courts. While far from achieving the ideal of a justice system that is color- and gender-blind, progress has been made. For years, PMC, bar associations and public interest organizations urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to join the ranks of the many other states that were examining their own courts to determine whether and how bias affected the administration of justice.
Pennsylvanians can be proud of the historic Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Members are appointed by all three branches of the government and are charged with promoting the equal application of the law for all citizens of the Commonwealth. The Commission works to find ways to implement recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System.
Although much work remains to be done, substantial progress has been made in the effort to eliminate bias from the Pennsylvania court system. Achievements include:
- Improvements in the provision and certification of interpreters for litigants with limited proficiency.
- Legislation expanding lists from which potential jurors can be drawn in order to increase diversity of Pennsylvania juries.
Avenues exist for litigants, witnesses, jurors and attorneys to complain about perceived or actual bias or discriminatory treatment in the courts. This means if you feel you have been treated unfairly by a judge or other court personnel because of your race, gender, ethnicity or limited English proficiency, there are steps you can take to address the problem. There are possible sources of redress at the court itself, through local Bar Associations, and through the Judicial Discipline Process.