June 25, 2020
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Maryland Judiciary forms Committee on Equal Justice to address systemic inequalities
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A new committee of the Judicial Council has been formed that will strengthen the Maryland Judiciary’s commitment to equal justice under the law.
Formed at the direction of Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Maryland Court of Appeals, the Committee on Equal Justice, which is part of the governance structure of the Judicial Council, will make recommendations on strategies to dismantle any discriminatory behaviors in all aspects of the Judiciary’s functions. The committee will identify necessary improvements, resources, and support services and develop educational opportunities for ongoing Judiciary-wide engagement in the pursuit of equal justice for all.
“We are at a crossroads in meeting the mandate of equal justice under law,” said Chief Judge Barbera. “We must choose, deliberately and thoughtfully, to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, background, or identity, whether or not it is done with intention, within the Judiciary or in the administration of justice. The Committee on Equal Justice will lead our work to identify what we must change or improve so that we provide fair, efficient, and effective justice for all in Maryland.”
The Committee on Equal Justice, which will be chaired by Judge E. Gregory Wells, Maryland Court of Special Appeals, consists of more than 40 members from the Judiciary, including judges, court administrators, clerks, and staff.
“I am honored that Chief Judge Barbera has asked me to lead this important and timely committee,” said Judge Wells. “Like so many of our institutions, we seek to ensure that the Judiciary is open and inclusive to all. The Committee on Equal Justice will be taking a hard look both inward and outward and will listen to all of our colleagues, our justice partners, and the public we serve.”
The Committee on Equal Justice will ensure that judges and staff increase their knowledge and understanding of ethnic disparities, discrimination, and systemic racism, including implicit bias, micro-inequities, and micro-aggressions.
The Judiciary’s announcement of the new committee comes after Chief Judge Barbera issued the Statement on Equal Justice under Law. The statement was distributed to the members of the Judiciary, the more than 40,000 attorneys who practice law in Maryland, and the public and is available on the Judiciary’s website.
“Judge Wells and the members of the Committee on Equal Justice have vital work before them,” said Chief Judge Barbera. “The committee will guide us in putting into practice the values to which we have committed in the Statement on Equal Justice under Law.”
The first meeting of the committee will take place remotely in July.