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Jim Exum selected to Co-Chair Judicial Independence Committee

Former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Elon Law Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence James G. Exum, Jr. has been selected to co-chair the North Carolina Bar Association's Judicial Independence Committee. The committee is charged with reviewing the state's system for selecting judges and advising on reforms to improve the system.

James G. Exum, Jr.

Exum and fellow co-chair John R. Wester, past-president of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), conducted their first meeting of the committee on October 4 and will preside over the committee’s next meeting on November 29. At that time, the committee will work to determine a proposal for a new method of judicial selection to recommend to the NCBA’s Board of Governors for consideration at their annual meeting in January. Upon approval, the proposal would be presented to members of North Carolina’s legislature for consideration.

The NCBA's Judicial Independence Committee seeks to improve methods for the selection of judges to promote judicial independence and the overall quality of the judiciary in North Carolina. The Committee furthers this goal, in part, by increasing public and legislative awareness of the importance of an impartial and independent judiciary.

For a number of years, Exum has advocated for an appointive system for the selection of judges, in place of elections, arguing that an appointive system better achieves an independent, fair and impartial judiciary.

Click here to read about a debate on the subject that Exum participated in last year at Elon Law.

Click here for news about remarks made at Elon Law by former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the subject.

Click here for a series of articles exploring the merit of electoral and appointive systems for selecting judges, written by Exum and Elon Law professors Scott Gaylord and Alan Woodlief.

Philip Craft,
1/25/2011 4:54 PM