I had the opportunity to attend the International Association for Court Administration (IACA) conference in Sydney, Australia last week. Congratulations to IACA for a very successful 7th conference with an amazing group of court leaders from more than 40 countries around the world.
Distinguished speakers and panels presented important court administration topics including on the first day a range of important presentations:
- Opening keynote address National Judiciaries in a Global Economy delivered by Hon. Chief Justice Robert French AC Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
- Courts Governance Structures and Court Excellence
- Succession Planning in Court Administration
- International Perspectives on Access to Justice and the Empowerment of Women Affected by Family and Domestic Violence
- The Court Administrator: Succession planning and developing future leadership
- Access to Justice for Vulnerable Groups
- Governance: The exploration of the roles of judicial officers & court administrators and how the relationship may be improved and enhanced
- Balancing Security and Access through Courthouse Design
With so many excellent sessions during the week and with delegates from the around the world including chief justices and judges, court administrators, technology experts, researchers and academics, the panel discussions and published papers provide an important tool to enhance and improve the delivery of court services and access to justice.
Some of the most interesting conversations addressed the future of the courts and the role of technology in justice.
- The Future of the Courts 2025 – ‘An Environmental Scan’ session involved the audience in discussed different future scenarios for the future. The session was based on the framework of the National Association for Court Management’s (NACM) survey of a diverse group of court professionals from around the world on the future of the courts from three international surveys with over 500 court professionals identifying the most likely scenarios that could affect courts by the year 2025.
- The use of social media in the courtroom is a very hot topic around the world. During the session Building and Sustaining Public Confidence: Communication Strategies and Social Media in Courts Norman Meyer, Clerk of Court New Mexico, USA; Ms. Marilyn Krawitz, School of Law University of Notre Dame, Western Australia; and Dr Jane Johnston Associate Professor Public Relations, Bond University, Australia presented use cases and asked Are you ready for social media? IACA was very active with social media during the event as well on Facebook and twitter.
- The session Current Developments in Court Technology: The use of AV and Digital Technology focused on developments in courtroom technology that are rapidly changing the way court proceedings are conducted from remote access including video conferencing, digital evidence presentations, computer monitors for judges, jurors, witnesses, wireless digital court recording technology that allow faster and cheaper access to court proceedings and can lead to increased efficiency and time savings, while reducing costs in courts.
- I had the opportunity to moderate the panel session Technology and Courts: Automating paper-based systems and Improving Services to Judges, the Courts and the Public with compelling best practices shared by Ms. Barbara Kincaid, General Council & Director of Court Operations, Supreme Court of Canada; the Hon. T-seliso Monapathi, Acting Chief Justice, High Court, Lesotho; Mr. Adam Watson – Synergy International Systems, Virginia, USA; Mr. David Anderson, Chief of Party, USAID/Indonesia Changes for Justice (C4J) Project, Indonesia.
IACA was founded in 2004 with the mission to improve the administration of justice by advancing modern standards of court administration around the world. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with IACA and the global community of court leaders to help achieve this objective.