According to a 2005 survey [pdf] of the public, the strongest predictor by far of whether members of the public approve or have confidence in the courts was:
Between November 2004 and February 2005, over 2,400 California adults were surveyed regarding their:
Having a sense that court decisions are made through processes that are fair.
- Knowledge about the courts and the sources of that knowledge
- Perceived and experienced barriers to court access
- Experiences as jurors, litigants, or consumers of court information
- Expectations for what the courts should be doing
- Sense of the accessibility, fairness and efficiency of the courts
The study was commissioned by the Administrative Office of the Courts on behalf of the Judicial Council of California, and the results were published [pdf] in September 2005. We'll cover more of the study results in future posts.