A Question of Ethics Conversation

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: What Is the Court’s Duty?

NACM has made a commitment to the values of providing equal justice regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, disability, or social economic status.  What is the court’s ethical obligation, particularly when it comes to implementing court operations?  This episode was a recorded conversation held immediately after the Ethics Subcommittees’ Conference Call held on March 24, 2022.

The questions the group explored include:

  • Do courts have an ethical obligation to implement policies and procedures that ensure the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are applied to court processes?
  • Can a court apply diversity, equity, and inclusion to assessing fines, costs, and fees?  if so, how does one go about doing that?

The ethical Canons from the NACM Model Code for Court Professionals referenced during the conversation include:

Canon 1.1: Performing Court Duties

A court professional faithfully carries out all appropriately assigned duties, striving at all times to perform the work diligently, efficiently, equitably, thoroughly, courteously, honestly, openly, and within the scope of the court professional’s authority.

Canon 1.3: Fairness

The court professional makes the court accessible and conducts his or her work without bias or prejudice.

Canon 1.4 Respect for Others

A court professional treats litigants, co-workers, and all others interacting with the court with dignity, respect, and courtesy.

Today’s Moderator:
Courtney Whiteside, Director of the St. Louis Municipal Court, St. Louis, Missouri

Listen to Audio Version on Your Way or From Work
The audio version runs 29 minutes 4 seconds: https://anchor.fm/courtleaderpodcast/episodes/Diversity–Equity–Inclusion-What-is-the-Courts-Duty-e1gvdi6.

Watch the Video Version
The YouTube video version runs 29 minutes 59 seconds: https://youtu.be/qUHtP7lM4ao.

Be Sure to Take the Survey
The results will be posted and periodically updated on the NACM Ethics webpage. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KRZBPGH

Leave a question or comment about the episode at ethics@nacmnet.org.