The Duke Student Judiciary is the judicial branch of Duke’s Student Government. The Duke Student Judiciary ensures that the Duke Student Government's actions adhere to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Bylaws that govern it. The Judiciary has constitutional and statutory oversight over the Senate, the Executive Board, SOFC, the YTNC, individual student groups, and any other organization affiliated with DSG. The Judiciary is made up of seven total justices, one Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. Applications to join the Judiciary are made available to the student body each spring or when an opening is available.
The Judiciary is the branch of the Duke Student Government that deals with any and all disputes among groups subject to the DSG Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Bylaws. Groups subject to the DSG Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Bylaws include:
The DSG Senate
The DSG Executive Board
Krzyzewskiville Line Monitors
Student Organization Finance Committee (SOFC)
The Young Trustee Nominating Committee (YTNC)
Any individual student group or student group leaders
Any other organization affiliated with DSG
Examples of some of the many issues on which the Judiciary hears cases:
Objections to the Young Trustee Nominating Committee process
Objections by individuals to SOFC determinations concerning their student group
Legislation or DSG Senate activities of questionable constitutionality
Conflicts regarding Krzyzewskiville policies
Impeachment and/or removal of DSG officers or student group leaders
HOW TO FILE A CASE
To file a case with the judiciary, you can either directly email the current Chief Justice or complete the online submission form available at A complete submission will detail the petitioner(s) in the case and their contact information, the respondent(s), the issue at hand, objective facts of the case, the legal basis for the claim (pointing to language in the DSG Constitution or Bylaws), and the relief requested.
Once your petition has been filed, the Judiciary will review the petition and decide whether or not to hear the case. The respondents will be given the opportunity to respond to the petition. If the Judiciary decides to hear the case, the petitioners and respondents will be given notice and an amicable time for the hearing of the case will be scheduled.
HELPFUL RESOURCES WHEN PREPARING TO FILE A CASE
If the Judiciary grants a petition to hear a case, the petitioner(s) will appear before the seven justices along with the respondent(s) and any relevant witnesses. Each side is typically given thirty minutes of oral argument time, during which they may present their case and any witnesses they may have. During this time, the opposing counsel may not interrupt, ask questions, or object. Each side is then typically given five minutes to respond to the opposing counsel’s argument.
During oral argument, the justices may interrupt to ask questions regarding the case. Counsel should attempt to respond to the questions as best they can and then continue with their argument.
Only the justices, the petitioner(s), the respondent(s), and their representatives may speak during the hearing. Any press or viewers may not interrupt, ask questions, or speak once the hearing is in progress. No petitioners or respondents may speak when it is not their allotted time. Those who fail to follow the court procedure will be asked to leave the hearing.
The petitioner(s) and/or respondent(s) may choose to acquire representation to assist them in their cases. If you are a petitioner or respondent who would like representation but cannot find any, please email and the Court will assist you in finding representation.