CHAPTER 872a
REMOVAL, SUSPENSION AND CENSURE OF JUDGES

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Sec. 51-51k. Judicial Review Council.

      Sec. 51-51k. Judicial Review Council. (a) Composition of council. There is established a Judicial Review Council, within the Office of Governmental Accountability established under section 1-300, to be composed of the following members: (1) Three judges of the Superior Court, who are not also judges of the Supreme Court, who shall be appointed by the Governor, from a list of six judges selected by the members of the Superior Court, with the approval of the General Assembly, (2) three attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in this state, who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, (3) six persons who are not judges or attorneys-at-law, who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, and (4) thirteen alternate members who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, as follows: (A) Two judges of the Superior Court who are not also judges of the Supreme Court, from a list of four judges selected by the members of the Superior Court, (B) two attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in this state, (C) three persons who are not judges or attorneys-at-law, (D) three compensation commissioners, and (E) three family support magistrates.

      (b) Alternate members. An alternate member who is a judge, attorney-at-law or person who is not a judge or attorney-at-law shall serve at probable cause hearings and public hearings in lieu of a member who is a judge, attorney-at-law or person who is not a judge or attorney-at-law, respectively, when such member is absent or disqualified, as designated by the executive director of the council. An alternate member who is a compensation commissioner shall serve as a member of the council in lieu of one of the members who is a judge of the Superior Court, as designated by the executive director, when the subject of a complaint or investigation is a compensation commissioner. An alternate member who is a family support magistrate shall serve as a member of the council in lieu of one of the members who is a judge of the Superior Court, as designated by the executive director, when the subject of a complaint or investigation is a family support magistrate. An alternate member shall have the same power as the member he or she is temporarily replacing during the absence or disqualification of the member.

      (c) Appointment and terms of members on and after December 1, 1992. On and after December 1, 1992, members shall be appointed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section as follows: One judge shall be appointed for a term of two years, one judge shall be appointed for a term of three years and one judge shall be appointed for a term of four years; one attorney shall be appointed for a term of two years, one attorney shall be appointed for a term of three years and one attorney shall be appointed for a term of four years; two lay members shall be appointed for terms of two years, two lay members shall be appointed for terms of three years, and two lay members shall be appointed for terms of four years. Thereafter, members shall serve for terms of four years. Members may continue in office until a successor is appointed and qualified. No member appointed on or after December 1, 1992, may serve consecutive terms, and if the member is an attorney, no member of his or her firm may serve a term consecutive to such member, provided no member may serve for more than two terms. Vacancies on the council shall be filled for the unexpired portion of any term in the same manner as the original appointment. Any member who is a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner and retires from full-time active service as a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner shall automatically cease to be a member of the council, and a vacancy shall be deemed to occur. Alternate members shall be appointed for terms of three years and shall not serve consecutive terms as alternate members.

      (d) Holding elected or appointed positions restricted. No member of the council, except a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner, may hold any elected or appointed position with compensation within the state or United States, or be a selectman or chief executive officer of any municipality, or a full or part-time employee of the Judicial Department or Workers' Compensation Commission, or a member of a national or state central committee, or a chairperson of any political party.

      (e) Executive director. (1) The Judicial Review Council shall employ an executive director and such other staff as is necessary for the performance of its functions and duties.

      (2) The executive director may investigate any complaint filed pursuant to section 51-51l and present evidence obtained pursuant to any such investigation to the council.

      (f) Brochure. The Judicial Review Council shall develop a concise brochure written in plain language to provide the public with information concerning the purpose, authority, jurisdiction and process of the Judicial Review Council. The council shall distribute the brochure to all court administrative offices and to any person who files a complaint pursuant to section 51-51l.

      (g) Annual report. The Judicial Review Council shall submit to the Governor, the Judicial Department, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the Judicial Review Council, and the judges of the Superior Court annually on or before September first, a report of its activities for the previous fiscal year, including the number of complaints received and the number of each type of complaint disposition, including the number of dismissals, the number of admonishments and the number of cases in which probable cause was found.

      (h) Office space. The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall provide the Judicial Review Council office space for the conduct of duties of the council.

      (i) Regulations. The Judicial Review Council shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish rules and procedures for the council in the discharge of its duties under this chapter and to provide standards for the identification of and procedures for the treatment of conflicts of interest for council members, which standards shall require that any professional or ethical codes of conduct shall apply to any professional member of the council subject to such codes of conduct.

      (P.A. 77-494, S. 5, 18; P.A. 82-248, S. 39; P.A. 86-402, S. 3, 13; P.A. 92-160, S. 2, 6-9, 18, 19; P.A. 93-18; P.A. 94-57, S. 1, 2; P.A. 95-97, S. 1, 3; P.A. 97-132, S. 2, 3; P.A. 07-217, S. 187; P.A. 11-48, S. 65; 11-51, S. 44.)

      History: P.A. 82-248 deleted obsolete provision, reworded section and divided section into Subsecs; P.A. 86-402 increased lay members from three to five and amended Subsec. (b) re appointment and terms of two lay members appointed on or after June 9, 1986; P.A. 92-160 amended Subsecs. (a) to (d) re appointment of members, increasing number of nonattorney members from five to six and adding provision re expiration of terms of all members on December 1, 1992, and terms and appointment of members appointed thereafter, and added Subsecs. (e) to (i) re executive director, informational brochure, annual report, office space and regulations editorially; P.A. 93-18 amended Subsec. (a) to add a compensation commissioner and a family support magistrate as alternate members of the council and specify when each alternate member would serve and amended Subsecs. (c) and (d) to add references to "compensation commissioner", "family support magistrate" and "workers' compensation commission" as appropriate; P.A. 94-57 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing number of alternate members from two to nine, adding two judges, two attorneys-at-law and three persons who are not judges or attorneys-at-law, deleted former Subsec. (b), designating part of Subsec. (a) as (b) and inserting provisions re service of alternate member when member is absent or disqualified and powers of alternate members, and amended Subsec. (c) to add provision re three-year term for alternate member, effective May 23, 1994; P.A. 95-97 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision re continuance of members in office until successor appointed and qualified, effective June 5, 1995; P.A. 97-132 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing alternate members from nine to thirteen, adding two additional compensation commissioners and two additional family support magistrates and amended Subsec. (b) by changing "chairperson" to "executive director" and by making technical changes; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective July 12, 2007; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re Office of Governmental Accountability and by making a technical change, effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, "Commissioner of Public Works" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Administrative Services" in Subsec. (h), effective July 1, 2011.

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