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The latest issue of the Journal of Judicial Administration (Volume 28 Part 3) contains the following material:
The Psychological Impact of Judicial Work: Australia’s First Empirical Research Measuring Judicial Stress and Wellbeing – Carly Schrever, Carol Hulbert and Tania Sourdin
This article presents the methodology and primary quantitative analysis of Australia’s first empirical research measuring judicial stress and wellbeing. The findings arise from the survey of 152 judges and magistrates from five Australian courts. Using standardised and validated psychometric instruments for a broad range of stress constructs, the survey robustly explored the varying way in which stress in judicial office can manifest, allowing comparisons with the Australian legal profession and general population. The results suggest that, like lawyers, the judges and magistrates report elevated psychological distress and problematic alcohol use, and that symptoms of burnout and secondary trauma are prominent features of the judicial stress experience. However, unlike the broader legal profession, judicial officers’ rates of depressive and anxious symptoms are relatively low. Together, the findings reveal a judicial system not yet in mental health crisis, but under considerable stress. The implications of the findings and areas for future research are discussed.
The study analyses the emergence of independent judicial councils and their role in facilitating judicial control of court administration in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and other countries. While much research has been conducted into the relative merits of judicial control of court administration, the study extends the court governance literature by developing an analytical policy framework for a model Judicial Council of Victoria with broad statutory responsibility for improving the quality of justice in the court system. Part I conducts a review of the models of court governance and literature and contends that greater internal transparency and administrative “corporatisation” of the judiciary is essential in order to improve court performance, enhance the social legitimacy of the courts and reinforce judicial independence. Part II outlines the essential terms of reference for a model Judicial Council of Victoria and proceeds to assess the institutional framework of Court Services Victoria, a judicial council that was established in 2014 to transfer the responsibility for court administration from the executive government to the judiciary. The study concludes that the Victorian court system reform broadly meets the model policy benchmarks, but that the legislation is insufficiently clear in important aspects and requires a set of specific amendments.
For the PDF version of the table of contents, click here: JJA Vol 28 No 3 Contents.
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