The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is assisted by several panels that carry out specific assigned tasks for the court and provide ongoing counsel in given areas.
Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts
1515 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Formed by the Supreme Court, the Judicial Independence Commission is dedicated to fostering a better understanding of the role of the courts. Created in response to a nationwide pattern of attacks on the courts and judicial rulings, the commission raises public awareness of the importance of a strong, independent judiciary in a free society. It promotes the teaching of civics and monitors threats on judicial independence in Pennsylvania and around the nation. The commission is comprised of 11 members who are appointed by the Supreme Court. Members include state and federal judges, law professors and lawyers.
The Judicial Council of Pennsylvania
One Oxford Centre
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Judicial Council is an advisory body to the Supreme Court. Made up of judges, lawyers, lawmakers and citizens, the council is chaired by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Two additional Supreme Court justices, the state court administrator and the president judges of Superior Court and Commonwealth Court also serve on the council. Other members of the council include two state senators; two state representatives; the president judges of the Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and Allegheny County; three members appointed by the governor; and additional judges, lawyers and lay representatives.
The Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness
U.S. Steel Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness ensures that people of every race, gender and ethnic background are treated fairly and respectfully throughout all offices of state government. The panel is made up of 24 racially and ethnically diverse members: eight members appointed by the Supreme Court, eight by the governor and eight by the legislature. Members include judges, lawyers, legislators and community advocates.
Pennsylvania Bar Institute
5080 Ritter Rd.
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
The Committee for Proposed Standard Jury Instructions assists the Supreme Court in court proceedings by developing jury instructions to be used by both the bench and the bar. Membership is divided into two subcommittees: civil rules and criminal rules. Each subcommittee ensures that a proper statement of law is conveyed to jurors in language that is understandable. Committees update the instructions every 18 to 24 months.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
601 Commonwealth Ave.
The Investment Advisory Board coordinates the investment policy for four, non-tax supported, court-related boards: the Disciplinary Board, the Continuing Legal Education Board, the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security and the Board of Law Examiners. The panel is made up of eight appointed members who are experienced in areas of finance and investment.