General Judicial Independence Knowledge Skills Strategic Planning

A Tool for Excellence in Courts

If you have worked on courts, you will know how hard it can be to get a complete map of what needs to be addressed.

A friend reminds us of the value of one comprehensive framework – The International Framework for Court Excellence. Originally delivered in 2006 by a consortium, it has continued to guide the work of the consortium’s members and others. It is intended to apply to courts of all description – large and small, urban and rural. Check out the consortium’s current membership.

If you’re looking for a good place to start putting the pieces together, this is a useful tool. In its section on Seven Areas of Excellence, for example, it sets out useful ideas on

  • leadership and management
  • planning and policies
  • human, material and financial
  • proceedings and processes
  • client needs and satisfaction
  • affordable and accessible services
  • public trust and confidence

The Consultative Council of European Judges approaches many of these questions through a series of ‘opinions’ addressing a broad range of fundamental issues about courts. Since 2001, the CCEJ has delivered 22 opinions on topics from independence, to appointments and speedy trials. They call their summary document from 2010 the Magna Carta.

If you do look at these, think about sending in a comment on this post to let us know what you think of the two approaches.

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