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From The Publisher


Spring 2018 | Volume 102 Number 1 | Download PDF Version of Article
David F. Levi

What an honor it is for me to greet you as the inaugural director of the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School. As you will read in this journal, Carl and Susan Bolch have endowed this Institute to support and promote the study of courts and judicial decision-making, institutional design and reform, and, above all, the rule of law and the role of an independent judiciary in upholding the rule of law. It is a wonderful and broad mission that touches upon many areas of scholarship and law reform and opens up many avenues for collaboration, teaching, and field work. An effective, fair judicial and legal system is the foundation of any prosperous and functioning economy and culture. But it is not permanent or impervious to decay.

This Institute will study the rule of law, how it is achieved, described, measured, and protected, and how it can be advanced to promote justice, nonviolence, and international order. We will study how technology and innovation can advance the rule of law and human rights, improve the administration of justice, and help provide access to justice. And we will share the results of our endeavors with judiciaries and governments around the world. These are big and consequential topics. Fortunately, we have a deep “bench” of scholars here at Duke, both at the law school and throughout the university, who are leaders and experts in these fields. We also are eager to work with other organizations around the world. We aspire to connect scholarly research to the large network of organizations that are already actively involved in fostering the rule of law on the ground. And we will look to the judiciary and the legal profession to join and enhance our efforts.

Judicature will continue to flourish under the umbrella of the Bolch Judicial Institute. As before, it will explore the administration of justice and the practice of judging. It will continue to offer scholarship that is relevant to the courts, insight that can inform and advance the work of the judiciary, and perspectives that challenge us to broader understanding. This edition’s cover story on forensic science is a good example of how scholarship and research can affect the decisions judges make on a day-to-day basis. The Bolch Judicial Institute’s renewed focus on judicial independence recalls Judicature’s original purpose as the magazine of the American Judicature Society, which was dedicated to promoting an independent judiciary insulated from the pressure of electoral politics. As it renews this focus, the Bolch Judicial Institute will work to expand Judicature’s reach within the legal profession and academy in the United States and around the world.

I am grateful for your support of this journal and look forward to working with you to pursue these important goals. Please send your comments and ideas, on this journal and on the future of the Bolch Judicial Institute, to judicature@law.duke.edu.

David F. Levi signature

David F. Levi
James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean, Duke Law School
Director, Bolch Judicial Institute

About David F. Levi

David F. Levi is the Levi Family Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute. He served as the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law from 2007 to 2018. He previously was Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, with chambers in Sacramento. He has served as chair of two Judicial Conference committees by appointment of the Chief Justice. He was chair of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee (2000-2003) and chair of the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure (2003-2007); he was reappointed to serve as a member of that committee (2009-2015). In 2014, he was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, and in 2015, he was named co-chair of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. He also is a member of the ALI Council and was an advisor to the ALI’s Federal Judicial Code Revision and Aggregate Litigation projects.He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves as president of the American Law Institute (ALI).