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National Network of Judges Science and Technlogy Resource Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $500,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

The Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Project (ASTAR) will train judges in forensic science and other technically complex areas of the law. It continues an earlier BJA project with jurists' recruitment, training, certification, and election as ASTAR Fellows. The objective is to enhance jurisdictions' capacities for the management of complex criminal and civil cases featuring novel scientific and technical evidence. Participating judges agree to remain on the bench for at least five years following their 120-hour training curriculum's completion. Enrolled jurisdictions agree to provide time away for training and post-training assignments geared toward utilizing it. ASTAR trains judicial teams to: confidently manage mainstream and emerging scientific evidence; mobilize complex case alternative dispute resolution; conduct collegial mentoring; inform Bench-Bar collaboration; and add value to law school liaison.


Date Created: September 2, 2009