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NCJ Number: NCJ 238291     Find in a Library
Title: Case for Court Governance Principles
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Christine M. Durham ; Daniel J. Becker
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America

Harvard University
John F Kennedy School of Government
Program in Criminal Justice Policy Management
United States of America

State Justice Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 2012
Page Count: 12
  Annotation: This paper presents a set of principles and approaches for governing State court systems.
Abstract: This paper is part of a series of papers published as a result of the Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century. Participants in the session discussed the role of State court leaders in the democratic system of government and the future role of State courts. This paper presents a set of principles that are intended to begin a dialogue on how governance of court systems can best be enhanced to meet current and future challenges. The principles are based on what courts can do internally to enhance and meet their responsibilities, as opposed to focusing on how State courts can improve their relationships with other branches of government. The paper begins with a discussion of contemporary models of court organization and the culture of court systems. This is followed by the proposed 11 principles: 1) a well-defined governance structure for policy decisionmaking and administration for the entire court system; 2) meaningful input from all court levels into the decisionmaking process; 3) selection of judicial leadership based on competency, not seniority or rotation; 4) commitment to transparency and accountability; 5) a focus on policy level issues; delegation with clarity to administrative staff; and a commitment to evaluation; 6) open communication on decisions and how they are reached; 7) clear, well-understood and well-respected roles and responsibilities among the governing entity, presiding judges, court administrators, boards of judges, and court committees; 8) a system that speaks with a single voice; 9) authority to allocate resources and spend appropriated funds independent of the legislative and executive branches; 10) positive institutional relationships that foster trust among other branches and constituencies; and 11) the judicial branch should govern and administer operations that are core to the process of adjudication.
Main Term(s): State courts
Index Term(s): Court administrators ; Court structure ; Court management ; State court unification ; Courts ; Court procedures ; Access to courts
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2007-DD-BX-K056
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Bureau of Justice Assistance Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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