The September 2012 issue of the Management Information Exchange Journal includes an article by National Center for Access to Justice attorneys Laura Abel and David Udell, “The Justice Index: Measuring Access to the Courts.” The article describes the types of 50-state data that we intend to include in the Justice Index, such as
- How many new case filings each year involve at least one unrepresented party, by type of case?
- Is there a statute, rule, or other guidance document requiring that websites, electronic filing systems and other advanced technology used by courts by accessible to unrepresented persons?
- Is there a statute, rule, or other guidance document requiring courts to provide interpreters for all criminal and civil court proceedings involving LEP individuals?
The article explains, “A primary task in producing the Justice Index is to overcome the justice system’s failure to systematically track data on its own performance. We have included some criteria in the Justice Index precisely because they can be illuminated through existing data sets and reports. We have included some criteria because we intend for the Justice Index to educate people about the importance of data that does not yet exist. Last, we are conducting original research to produce new data relevant to some of the critera.” The article is part of a special feature called “Beyond Cases Closed: The Latest in Outcome Measurement in Legal Aid.”