News

  • October 11, 2018 - Philadelphia: Retired Judge Doris Smith Ribner, former Interbranch Commission member and current Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee member, organized a summit on the law on domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Criminal Justice Committee Chair, Khadija Diggs, facilitated the second panel of the summit on the enforcement of domestic violence law, and Interpreter Services Committee member, Judge Ida Chen, spoke on Protection from Abuse orders during the summit.
  • October 25, 2018 - Harrisburg: The Commission held its regular Quarterly Meeting at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center.
  • November 2, 2018 - Pittsburgh: The Commission convened a meeting of a statewide stakeholders group to assist victims of human trafficking. The Commission and stakeholders are working with the Pennsylvania Office of Victims Services to help coordinate the statewide response to trafficking victims by creating a “Guiding Principles” document that will assist jurisdictions with responding appropriately to these traumatized victims.
  • November 10, 2018 – Hershey: Executive Director McCormick spoke on sexual harassment and assault at the fall retreat of the PA Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, “Time’s Up! Working to Eliminate Harassment and Discrimination.”

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Upcoming Events

  • March 14, 2019 - Philadelphia: The Commission’s next Quarterly Meeting will take place. The meeting will also include a public program featuring a keynote address by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd and the presentation of two new guides from the Commission. The program is free, but space is limited, so please register here. One and a half hours of ethics CLE credit are also available for attorneys.
  • April 4, 2019 – Philadelphia The PBA Committee on Civil and Equal Rights is conducting a Civil Rights Symposium. The topics include a review of the most significant civil rights cases in the past year, a review of the landscape on civil rights legislation, and litigating §1983 claims. Along with two other panelists, Interpreter Services Committee Chair Lenny Rivera will be speaking on protecting non-citizen clients’ rights in the courtroom. Executive Director McCormick will moderate the panel discussion.
  • May 19-21, 2019 – Miami, FL: Executive Director McCormick will attend and speak at the Annual Meeting of the National Consortium for Racial and Ethnic Fairness.
  • June 6-7, 2019 - Harrisburg: Executive Director McCormick will speak on implicit bias in the criminal justice system at the PBI Criminal Law Symposium.

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The Interbranch Commission implements recommendations from the Report of The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial, and Gender Bias in The Justice System. View the Report

Welcome

Established in January 2005, the 24-member Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Fairness is responsible for addressing inequities and securing fairness and equal justice in Pennsylvania's court system. 

There is a variety of information on this site, ranging from our reports on subjects such as the availability of interpreter services in administrative agency proceedings and improving courthouse safety in domestic violence cases, to a blueprint for how to diversify a county court system or a private law firm.  You can also download Pamphlets offering suggestions for judges and lawyers on how to avoid biased conduct in a courtroom and safety tips for victims of domestic.  One of our most significant achievements, the Supreme Court's Policy on Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity, is available on the site as well, along with complaint procedures for violations of the policy. 

This site is designed to appeal to a wide range of users, including judges and other members of the legal community who wish to replicate the best practices offered in reports, as well as members of the public, and in particular, our diverse communities, who are entitled to know about our efforts to promote equity in Pennsylvania's justice system.

We hope that our website provides you with the information you seek and we urge you to contact us with questions or suggestions for how we can help to make the courts more responsive to the needs of all of the Commonwealth's residents.

Learn more about the Commission | Download the Supreme Court Committee Report