Judicial Council/AOC Strategic Planning

Since the beginning of 2013, members of the Judicial Council, AOC staff, and future Judicial Council members have been working to develop a strategic plan for FY2014 through FY2016 .    With the assistance of Mr. Jim Neal, North Highland Group, three working sessions were held in January, April, and June. Mr. Neal conducted interviews with multiple stakeholders which contributed to the work of the Planning Group.
 
Purpose and Role
The Judicial Council Members Guide defines the Judicial Council’s role as being “the continuous study and betterment of the organization of the courts.  Some of its duties include:

• Considering requests for new superior court judgeships,
• Developing policies for administering and improving the courts, and
• Overseeing the judicial branch committees and agencies as required by law.”
 
During the many planning sessions, more complete view of the work of the Judicial Council/AOC was developed to include mission and vision statements and guiding principles.  The roles and capabilities of the Judicial Council/AOC  were discussed and developed, as well as strategic objectives and priority initatives.
 
Objectives and Framework
In order to build a framework to develop the strategic plan, objectives were identified.  The first step of the process was to clarify the mission, vision, and guiding principles for the Judicial Council. 
 
Mission
The Judicial Council and AOC lead collaboration on policy across Georgia’s courts to improve the administration of justice in Georgia
 
Vision
To improve justice in all Georgia courts through collaboration, innovation, and information
 
Guiding Principles
• Uphold the independence and integrity of the judiciary
• Promote efficient and effective administration of justice
• Support informed, fact-based decisions that affect the courts
• Collaborate with key stakeholders in judicial, executive, and legislative branches
 
Where the vision, mission, and guiding principles are meant to define what the Judicial Council/AOC is, the step of identifying strategic objectives and roles and capabilities established what the Judicial Council looks forward to becoming.
 
The Judicial Council and AOC roles and capabilities were indentified as being a collaborative forum for all classes of courts, exercising leadership in statewide judicial policy formulation, and being Georgia’s premier judicial information resource.  Its strategic objectives were indentified as improving collaboration and planning, building thought leadership, and improving citizen experience with the courts.  These objectives then gave rise to priority initiatives for each objective. 
 
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Moving Forward
The Chief Justice and AOC Director have been tasked with (1) directing the implementation of the plan; (2) engaging Judicial Council members for input and participation; and (3) reporting to the Judicial Council on the progress of outcomes.  The plan was adopted unanimously.
 
The Judicial Council Strategic Planning Committee was formed with Presiding Judge Sara Doyle, Court of Appeals of Georgia as chair.  Membership will be comprised of Judge Mary Staley, President-Elect, Council of Superior Court Judges; Judge Charles Wynne, President-Elect, Council of State Court Judges; Judge J. Lane Bearden, President-Elect, Council of Juvenile Court Judges; Judge Chase Daughtrey, President-Elect, Council of Probate Court Judges; Judge W. Allen Wigington, First Vice President, Council of Magistrate Court Judges; and Judge E.R. Lanier, President-Elect, Council of Municipal Court Judges
 
 
Judicial Council Strategic Planning Participants
 
The strategic plan was developed in a colalborative process with leaders of the Judicial Council and Administrative Office of the Courts.  Participants included:
Former Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein, Supreme Court of Georgia
Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson, Supreme Court of Georgia
Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines, Supreme Court of Georgia
Chief Judge Herbert E. Phipps, Court of Appeals of Georgia
Presiding Judge John J. Ellington, Court of Appeals of Georgia
Judge David E. Emerson, President, Council of Superior Court Judges
Judge Louisa A. Abbot, President-Elect, Council of Superior Court Judges
Judge David Darden, President, Council of State Court Judges
Judge Linda S. Cowen, President-Elect, Council of State Court Judges
Judge Charles S. Wynne, Secretary, Council of State Court Judges
Judge Robin Shearer, President, Council of Juvenile Court Judges
Judge J. Lane Bearden, Vice-President, Council of Juvenile Court Judges
Judge John Sumner, Secretary, Council of Juvenile Court Judges
Judge Mary Jo Buxton, President, Council of Probate Court Judges
Judge Kelley Powell, President-Elect, Council of Probate Court Judges
Judge Chase Daughtrey, First Vice-President, Council of Probate Court Judges
Judge Alan Harvey, President, Council of Magistrate Court Judges
Judge Betsey Kidwell, First Vice-President, Council of Magistrate Court Judges
Judge W. Allen Wigington, Second Vice-President, Council of Magistrate Court Judges
Judge Kenneth E. Wickham, President, Council of Municipal Court Judges
Judge James M. Anderson, III, President-Elect, Council of Municipal Court Judges
Judge E.R. Lanier, First Vice-President, Council of Municipal Court Judges
Marla S. Moore, AOC Director
Molly JM Perry, Division Director- Court Services
Randy Dennis, Division Director- Financial Administration
Jorge Basto, Division Director- Information Technology
Mike Cuccarro, Assistant Director of Government and Trial Court Liaison
Cynthia Clanton, General Counsel
Ashley Stollar, Communications/Outreach Specialist

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