Council adops six-year strategic plan for California
Photo courtesy Queen
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
December 4, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A state council that sets policy
for California's court system has launched a new strategic plan
for the state's trial and appeal courts for the next six years.
The plan, entitled "Justice in Focus," was adopted
by the Judicial Council at a meeting in San Francisco on Friday.
It addresses an array of challenges facing California courts
in changing times, including ensuring fairness and access; responding
to and reflecting diversity; and modernizing court management
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, who chairs the
council, said, ""The plan affirms the council's ongoing
commitment to ensuring access and quality services for all Californians."
"The new strategic plan builds on past successes to meet
the current and evolving challenges of delivering quality justice
in a new era," George said.
The plan is intended to guide the priorities and work of the
council, the courts and the council's staff agency, the Administrative
Office of the Courts, through 2012.
The California court system is the largest in the nation, with
1,500 trial judges in 58 county-based superior courts, 105 Court
of Appeal justices in six appellate districts and seven Supreme
The plan is based on six goals for the courts:
- Ensuring equal access to the courts, fairness and respect for
- Maintaining the independence and accountability of the judicial
branch of government.
- Modernizing management and administration.
- Delivering the highest quality of justice and service to the
- Enhancing professional education for judges and court staff.
- Making sure that courts have administrative structures, technology
and physical facilities that meet the needs of the public and
As a next step in carrying out the goals, the Administrative
Office of the Courts will work with court and council representatives
to develop an operational plan. The plan is to be presented to
the council for review next summer.
The council is made up of 15 judges, four lawyers and two legislators.
The group also has seven non-voting advisory members who include
court administrators and the president of the California Judges
The council developed its first strategic plan for state courts
in 1992 and currently prepares a new plan every six years.
George and AOC director William Vickrey wrote in the introduction
to the plan, "California's judicial branch is committed to
courts that are fair and accessible, as well as to services that
are responsive to the needs of the public - services that inspire
the trust and confidence of Californians from all walks of life."
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