Episode five

The Role of the Judge: Resilience and Regional Experiences

In light of the introduction of far-reaching emergency legislation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, protecting the rule of law and the responsibility of the judiciary is ever more important. What is the role of the judiciary in ensuring emergency legislation and remote judging do not impinge on the rights of the citizen? How can the judiciary ensure that domestic safeguards are upheld and international standards are followed? To what extent should the judiciary be consulted in the development of measures that affect the courts? And how can judges and civil society continue to support each other during the crisis?
This episode features a conversation with Judge Radoslava Kacherilska, from the Sofia Regional Criminal Court, about the Bulgarian experience and her hopes and concerns regarding remote judging. The Honorable Jeremy Fogel (Ret.), Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, follows that conversation with a check-in on the American judicial system and his concerns over judicial mindsets and emotional wellbeing. He also shares his views on the importance of maintaining ‘presence’ and connection in the virtual courtroom and the challenges this presents to judges.


[1:13] - Interview with the Honorable Jeremy Fogel (Ret.), Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute

Judge Jeremy Fogel became the first Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, a center at Berkeley Law School whose mission is to build bridges between judges and academics and to promote an ethical, resilient and independent judiciary. Prior to his appointment at Berkeley, he served as Director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC (2011-2018), as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California (1998-2011), and as a judge of the Santa Clara County Superior (1986-1998) and Municipal (1981-1986) Courts. He was the founding Directing Attorney of the Mental Health Advocacy Project from 1978 to 1981.

[15:08] - Interview with Judge Radoslava Kacherilska, Sofia Regional Criminal Court (Bulgaria)

Judge Radoslava Kacherilska currently serves in the Criminal division of the Sofia Regional Court in Bulgaria. She was a visiting fellow at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C., exploring the use of information technology to facilitate court administration and access to justice. Most recently, she has spoken (via CEELI Institute programs) and shared her perspective on Best Practices for Remote Judging.