Justice For All: Battling Bias In The Courts

Bias does its greatest damage undetected, operating beneath the radar of our awareness or even contrary to our conscious intentions.

Bias can be costly, imposing what researchers have described as a “stereotype tax“, affecting everything from negotiating to hiring decisions. Unconscious bias can exclude qualified people from jobs or educational opportunities. Because of biases and assumptions about their counterpart on the other side of the table, negotiators are more likely to leave value on the table.

Bias is pervasive. It can be found where it is least welcomed, even in courthouses where justice should be blind and balanced, treating equally and with fairness all who come before the law.

To combat implicit bias and to raise awareness of its dangers in America’s courthouses, the National Center for State Courts has gathered on its web site an impressive collection of articles and videos on social cognition, judicial deliberation, and decision making, including these:

Also included is a link to Project Implicit, the ongoing research project into unconscious bias.

                        author

Diane J. Levin

Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property… MORE >

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