Duke Law School has just established a new Center for Judicial Studies, the brain-child of Dean David Levi, who served as Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California prior to his appointment as dean in 2007. A core component of the center is a new master’s program in judicial studies, which will be open to an inaugural class of 10 to 15 judges entering in summer 2012. The program will examine the history, institutions, and processes that shape the judiciary and affect judicial decision-making.
The part I find most exciting, however, is the center’s intended role as an incubator for innovative scholarly research on the judiciary, under the direction of my colleague Jack Knight, a professor of political science and law at Duke University and a renowned expert in the study of judicial institutions. And this is probably the part that most interests you, too (or, at least, most appeals to your self-interest).
The center will host academic conferences on topics related to judging and judicial institutional design. The center also will fund graduate fellows and visiting scholars who undertake original research projects with special relevance to the judiciary. A web-based journal is planned to disseminate research on the judiciary, report on conference proceedings, and provide a forum for discussion and comment. So, if you’re interested in the judiciary, the Center for Judicial Studies is interested in you.
The press release is here.