As the members of the Board and Executive Committee of NYSALJA, we condemn the acts of racial harm including the violent deaths of unarmed Black people at the hands of law enforcement that have occurred across the country. We acknowledge that the pain and impact of these more recent events cannot be understood apart from the institutionalized and structural racism that is the legacy of slavery in America. We also hear the voices of those who call for critical self-examination and meaningful change at this pivotal time in our nation’s history.
We take this opportunity to reaffirm NYSALJA’s commitment to its mission and core values. These include ensuring fair, equal and accessible justice to all who appear in administrative tribunals in New York State; maintaining the independence and integrity of our administrative tribunals; treating all who come before us with kindness, compassion, dignity and respect; promoting diversity and inclusion in our membership and within the administrative judiciary; adhering to the highest ethical standards on and off the bench, including performing our judicial duties without bias or prejudice and refraining from manifesting bias or prejudice in our words and deeds; conducting ourselves at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of administrative tribunals; promoting the highest levels of competence and professionalism through continuing judicial education that includes the topics of leadership, diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias; and striving at all times to ensure procedural as well as substantive justice while upholding the rule of law.
Ed. Note: We have formed a new committee, called the Equal Justice Committee, to study this matter and to report back to the board.