Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: October 2, 2001

Seal of the Unified Court System
Groundbreaking for Nation's 1st Judicial Institute
NEW YORK - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Governor George E. Pataki today joined with state and local officials in a ground-breaking ceremony for the Judicial Institute - the first judicial training and research facility in the nation built by and for a state court system. The Institute will be housed at the Pace Law School campus, where it will have complete access to the university's faculty, students and library and benefit from the synergy of this unique partnership between the New York courts and academia.

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye stated, "The Judiciary has a responsibility to stay abreast of pressing societal issues, such as domestic violence, drug addiction, juvenile crime and environmental abuses, and actively consider whether the courts are meeting the needs of the public. In this regard, the Judicial Institute will be a valuable resource to the court system,  providing a venue for research and development regarding justice issues, as well as serving as a hub for judicial scholarship. It is the first center in the nation to be devoted exclusively to judicial training and research at the state level and, as such, epitomizes the commitment to innovation and progress for which New York's courts have become known. I thank the Governor and the Legislature for supporting the creation of this pioneering Institute, which will surely raise the bar of excellence for the state's judiciary."

Governor Pataki said, "I'm proud and honored to stand today with men and women who have a vision of justice and how it can be accomplished in our legal system. Our laws are only as good as the people who oversee them, and this Judicial Institute - the first ever - will ensure that we have the finest judiciary and court system possible. I thank Judges Kaye and Lippman for their hard work to make this Institute a reality."

The Judicial Institute will provide a forum for:

  • Identification of new and emerging legal, technological, social, criminal and administrative trends affecting the courts
  • Continuing education through courses, seminars and conferences
  • Advanced study of how interdisciplinary influences, such as technology, medicine, ethics and the social sciences, affect the law and the judicial process
  • Participation in cooperative education programs involving other branches of government, as well as other state and federal judicial systems
Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman said, "With the establishment of the Judicial Institute, New York will be at the forefront of judicial education and training nationally. The Institute, which is a cooperative effort of the Judiciary, the Governor, the Legislature and Pace University, will provide a permanent, year-round facility for the court system's judicial education programs, and its affiliation with Pace University School of Law will infuse it with the energy inherent in an environment of higher learning. I am delighted to participate in today's ground-breaking ceremony, which marks the beginning of construction for this innovative new Institute."

Pace University President David Caputo said, "Pace University Law School is uniquely positioned to support and enhance judicial education in New York State. In partnership with the Judicial Institute, Pace Law School provides five valuable resources: innovative education techniques, faculty expertise, student talent, research and, technological innovation. In addition, Pace Law School and the Judicial Institute will benefit from the input and resources of Pace University including: the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences; Lubin School of Business; School of Computer Science and Information Systems; School of Education and the Lienhard School of Nursing."

The Judicial Institute will be governed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of judges, legislators, law professors and practicing attorneys. It will be operated by court personnel, and the court system will reimburse Pace for expenses related to maintenance of the physical plant. Construction costs for the three-story facility are estimated at $15 million, which will be provided through the Court Facility Incentive Aid Fund. The State Dormitory Authority has issued bonds to finance the construction, with the Institute's opening slated for 2002.