In 2014, the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“UACDL”) and the Criminal Law Section of the Utah State Bar (“CLS”) teamed together to launch the Utah Journal of Criminal Law. Concerned criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors sought to create an opportunity for both groups to interact on a collegial basis and to improve the practice of criminal law throughout the State. Although members of both groups agreed that, overall, defense lawyers and prosecutors exercise a fair amount civility when interacting with each other, collaborating outside of the courtroom setting would enhance understanding and respect for each other. Further, organizers specifically included judges and academics in the publication process to gain additional perspectives and to promote mutual understanding among all groups.
The Journal is a peer-reviewed, scholarly publication designed to elevate the discussion and quality of criminal law practice. Articles may be defense- or prosecution-oriented but the overall goal is to provide balanced discussions of an academic nature. To ensure balance and quality, each article is edited by a criminal defense lawyer, prosecutor, and an academic or judge. When articles promote one side over the other, the Editorial Board seeks to identify authors to provide the opposing viewpoint.
The Journal’s Editorial Board consists of criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, academics, and judges. Law students proof read articles and check them for accurate legal citations. The Editorial Board’s eventual goal is to publish the Journal twice a year once it receives a sufficient number of quality submissions.