About the Article
Illinois has the distinct advantage of not only having one of the first truly unified court systems in the nation, but also having had the opportunity in the 1970 Constitution of refining and improving that system after a trial period. The 1964 Judicial Article established a model court system of simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility. After 7 years of scrutiny and analysis this successful system was modified to eliminate some of the minor flaws. Illinois now has a judicial system to meet the needs of its citizens, a system built on tradition but designed with flexibility to accommodate future needs as well.
The Judicial Article of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Article VI) provides for a unified, 3-tiered judiciary, comprising of the Circuit Courts, the Appellate Courts, and the highest Court in the State, the Illinois Supreme Court. Cases are normally channeled to the Supreme Court from the Appellate Court, but in cases where a Circuit Court has imposed a sentence of death, the law provides for an appeal directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the Appellate Court.