Historical Society of New York Courts Launches Digital Archive


New York State Chief Justice Janet DiFiore. Photo AP / Mike Groll

The Historical Society of the New York Courts has launched “Dispensing Justice from a Distance,” its digital archive of nearly 40 interviews with judges and court staff (including public safety and technical support), documenting their experiences over time. real to keep the courts open, both virtually and in person, during the months of lockdown in New York.

A timeline follows the main stages of the justice system during the pandemic with images and documents to complete the case.

In early March 2020, New York City became the epicenter of the national COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns that significantly affected court operations and the administration of justice. Despite the widespread disruption, courts in New York State continued to operate and provide access to justice throughout the pandemic. How they did it comes to life in this one-of-a-kind archive.
Chief Justice Janet DiFiore, who is interviewed, said: “The transformation of our justice system from a massive, complex, in-person operating model into a functioning virtual model capable of securely providing access to justice to the community. of an unprecedented public health crisis. was a remarkable achievement.

“I am grateful to the Historical Society for documenting this achievement through personal interviews with dozens of judges and court professionals who have led the justice system’s response to the operational challenges presented by COVID-19. “Delivering justice from a distance” is invaluable testimony to how our justice system has been able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and fulfill our mission of ensuring access to justice and upholding the rule of law “, she declared.

Marilyn Marcus, Executive Director of the Historical Society of New York Courts, speaks at the New York International Arbitration Center. Facebook photo

Marilyn Marcus, Executive Director of the Society, said: “We view these accounts as a living history archive that captures for generations to come the visceral feel of what it was like to understand how to run the courts during the pandemic.

“Guided by the Chief Justice and Chief Administrative Judge, aided by the remarkable work of the technology staff, the Administrative and Sitting Judges, Chief Clerks and Security Officers learned new ways of working together as they were forced to separate. These are their fascinating personal stories, ”she said.

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