Administration of Victoria’s Courts removed from Department of Justice

Court Services Victoria (CSV) takes over the administration of courts in the state from today. CSV is a new statutory authority, independent of the executive branch of government. Previously, court administration was provided by the Department of Justice, meaning those who administered the courts reported both to the civil service and to judges. This weakened accountability and presented challenges for judicial independence.

Some judges have argued for changes to court administration in Victoria for several years. In 2004, Philip Williams, Chairman of Frontier (Australia), co-authored a report published by the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, The Governance of Australia’s Courts: A Managerial Perspective, which recommended that court administration be removed from the executive branch. The Victorian government took to the 2010 election a policy to adopt the recommendations of the report by establishing CSV.

A Courts Council consisting of Victoria’s six heads of jurisdiction and up to two co-opted non-judicial members will govern CSV. Philip is the first non-judicial member to have been co-opted.

Frontier (Australia) regularly advises governments and companies on dispute support and policy reform.

For more information please contact Philip Williams at philip.williams@frontier-economics.com.au or call +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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