*Please note that the links to the content in this Part will direct you to Westlaw AU.
The latest issue of the Journal of Judicial Administration (Volume 25 Part 2) contains the following material:
Assessing the adequacy of judicial complements – Judith Bellis, Catherine McKinnon and David Murchie
Governments face manifold challenges determining the optimal sizes of judicial complements. Statistical information as well as demographic and structural factors vary so much across Canadian jurisdictions that no general formula can be relied on, especially in the absence of quantified performance targets. In assessing requests from provincial superior courts to increase complements and advising the federal Minister of Justice accordingly, application of some consistent principles is attempted, with often unsatisfactory results. The exception is Canada’s Federal Court with which a computerised process simulation model has been developed. The model’s key features are described and a simple illustration of its use is provided. Building a court simulation model requires close collaboration with the judiciary and access to detailed case-tracking and workload data. It is hoped this article will assist other jurisdictions to address court resource issues.
Inefficiencies of court administration despite participants’ goodwill – Ludmila Stern, Uldis Ozolins and Sandra Hale
Although Australia has been at the forefront of community and court interpreting, inconsistencies and some clear inefficiencies in the way interpreters are accommodated in court processes can still be observed. Despite a desire for further improvement of interpreting practices and steps continuously undertaken by the court system, the management of court interpreter services falls short in comparison to international practices. These aspects can negatively affect the work of interpreters and in some cases affect the overall conduct of cases. This article assesses the extent to which current inconsistent practices affect the interpreters’ professional performance in contributing to a communicatively effective and efficient court system. Some of the inconsistencies identified include interpreter employment practices, interpreter facilities in courts, interpreters’ physical working conditions, practices and court protocols (or lack of protocols), recognising the professional needs of interpreters, and intra-court communication with interpreters. The article shows that some courts seem unaware of the damaging impact current inconsistent practices have on interpreters as professionals, and the quality of interpreting they provide. Despite limited funding and an equally limited pool of competent interpreters, solutions can be found within the existing system.
Justice and technological innovation – Tania Sourdin
Technology is reshaping the way that people, communicate, work and live. It is therefore no surprise that technology is also reshaping institutional and working arrangements in a range of sectors that include the justice sector. Over the past two decades, many technological advances have been directed at supporting the way in which work is carried out in the legal system. Some more recent innovations have also focussed on technologies that can replace a range of activities previously undertaken by humans. While these technologies are reshaping the justice system, it is suggested that the impact will be both more profound and pronounced in the near future, as so called “disruptive” technologies are introduced which will change not only how lawyers do business, and how judges “judge”, but will also affect the way that people in dispute engage with the justice system.
- Non-Adversarial Justice by Michael King, Arie Freiberg, Becky Batagol and Ross Hyams
For the PDF version of the table of contents, click here: JJA Vol 25 No 2 Contents.