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Has the Time Come for Judicial Sabbaticals?

NCJ Number
Judicature Volume: 71 Issue: 6 Dated: (April-May 1988) Pages: 306-316
I P Robbins
Date Published
11 pages
Sabbaticals provide a mechanism for improving morale, increasing incentive, and alleviating stress and its associated effects on health.
Despite the many benefits to be derived from sabbaticals and the interest expressed in them by many States and members of the bench, only three States allow judicial sabbaticals in a meaningful form. Oregon provides for an unpaid leave of absence of not more than a year. Alaska allows up to 1 year's leave of absence for activities related to the administration of justice, such as formal education programs or teaching. Puerto Rico has pending rules for judicial sabbatical leaves of up to a year with full pay. These rules also specify eligibility criteria, the application process, suitable activities, and postsabbatical requirements. A 1986 Ohio proposal also would permit uncompensated judicial sabbaticals. A report issued by the Institute of Judicial Administration calls for paid sabbatical leaves for judges with 6 years' full-time service. Issues that should be considered in a discussion of judicial sabbaticals include eligibility requirements, length of leave, compensation and benefits during leave, restrictions on activities during the sabbatical, costs, and case coverage. Although sabbatical leaves have been available to the judiciary to a limited extent, there are strong arguments for increasing their availability. 125 footnotes.


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