How Courts Work

Courts and Legal Procedure

The Role of Judges

What does a judge do? Maybe it's best to start with what he or she doesn't do. Even though he or she works for the state, a judge is not a law enforcement officer. A judge is not a prosecutor. Judges don't arrest people or try to prove them guilty.

Judges are like umpires in baseball or referees in football or basketball. Their role is to see that the rules of court procedures are followed by both sides. Like the ump, they call 'em as they see 'em, according to the facts and law—without regard to which side is popular (no home field advantage), without regard to who is "favored," without regard for what the spectators want, and without regard to whether the judge agrees with the law.

>>The Role and Structure of Courts
>>The Role of Judges
>>The Role of Juries
>>Grand Juries
>>Trial Juries
>>Judicial Independence


How Courts Work Home | *Courts and Legal Procedure* | Steps in a Trial
The Human Side of Being a Judge | Mediation

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