The Judicial Office business plan sets out a comprehensive set of objectives to deliver our priorities for the year.
Over the last year the courts and tribunals reform programme has started to demonstrate the sort of improvements to the administration of justice available through the use of up to date technology and streamlined processes. The coming year will see further changes, and we hope soon to see in parliament the legislation needed to underpin the programme.
It is vital the judiciary shapes the next steps in modernising the courts and tribunals. This year we want to see a step change in communication with the judiciary, ensuring all judges, panel members and magistrates understand what reform means for their work and have a chance to feed in their views. The communication exercise on Judicial Ways of Working is central to that.
We have also made a start in communicating better to a wider public audience the role of the judiciary and the importance of the rule of law. We need to do more this year, reaching wider and more varied audiences, such as schools in areas where children have fewer career opportunities.
It will be an important year for some of the issues that must be addressed if we are successfully to tackle judicial morale. The SSRB will report to the government on judicial pay and pensions. Critically, we need to play our part in recruitment and induction of new judges as the JAC run more and larger recruitment exercises than ever before. We will need to keep pressing for action to improve the estate.
We are, however, equally determined to make progress on the issues that are more directly in our gift, for example through the career discussions leadership judges will have with judges in their areas, through the welfare support they can provide and by developing our judicial leadership training.
This is a flavour of just some of the higher profile issues on the Judicial Office’s agenda. Across the Office, we are immensely grateful for the dedication and professionalism of Judicial Office staff in the work they do to support the judiciary.
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Burnett of Maldon,
Lord Chief Justice
Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Ryder,
Senior President of Tribunals