April 29, 2011
Joint Statement on Court Reorganization from
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland and
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan
The court reorganization legislation filed last week in the House includes proposals to retain the office of Probation in the Judiciary, to appoint a Court Administrator who will work collaboratively with the Trial Court Chief Justice to secure the proper and efficient administration of the courts, and to introduce new hiring and promotional practices in the Trial Court and state government. The legislation also clarifies the Supreme Judicial Court's statutory administrative oversight of the judicial branch.
We believe that these proposals will enhance the Judicial Branch and our ability to deliver justice, since the legislation builds upon progressive management efforts already underway in the court system.
The extent to which court leaders have transformed the management of the Trial Court since issuance of the Monan Report in 2003 is truly extraordinary. The departmental chief justices have skillfully and effectively led their courts through a challenging period of change, which included the most dire fiscal situation in decades. They, along with the Court Administrators, Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer and AOTC directors, have demonstrated commitment and collaboration which have been essential to our progress.
Their efforts have resulted in comprehensive improvements in accountability, resource allocation, case flow management, juror utilization, technology and transparency, which have produced a Trial Court that is better managed and more efficient.
Court leaders have consistently demonstrated openness to new management practices that enhance our ability to deliver justice. The addition of a Court Administrator provides the opportunity to add value to our management team and to bring a fresh perspective to court operations. The Trial Court already has begun to implement best practices in hiring and promotion in the Probation department. The legislation recommends expansion of such best practices to other areas of the Trial Court, consistent with the efforts and recommendations of the SJC Task Force led by Scott Harshbarger.
The legislative proposals will not change the critical nature of the demanding work now done daily by dedicated judges, clerks and probation staff across the state who serve the thousands of people who visit our courthouses. Given the challenges in staffing across the state, we rely on you to remain focused on delivering justice and we thank you for your continued commitment and support. Once the Legislature has acted, the Supreme Judicial Court, the Trial Court Chief Justices and the Court Management Advisory Board will work collaboratively to ensure successful implementation of these court improvements.
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