Last week, the Illinois Judicial Conference released a three-year strategic agenda for the Illinois Judicial Branch. The agenda, which runs through 2022, outlines the mission, vision and core values of the judicial branch, as well as organizational goals and strategies for achieving those goals.
“If the courts are to continue to make good on the promise of equal justice under law in this new and challenging environment, we must be proactive. Waiting for problems to develop and then responding will no longer do,” wrote Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier in the strategic agenda. “Rather, it is critical that we anticipate the difficulties ahead and prepare for them in a reasoned and coordinated way, drawing on the insights and experience of every part, every level and every region of the Judicial Branch.”
Reconstituted Illinois Judicial Conference
In October 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court amended Rule 41 to reconstitute the Illinois Judicial Conference. The rule states ““[t]here shall be a Judicial Conference to consider the work of the courts and to suggest improvements in the administration of justice. The Judicial Conference shall be the body to strategically plan for the Illinois judicial branch.”
The Illinois Judicial Conference is comprised of 29 voting members: 15 judges and 14 non-judges, with the Illinois Supreme Court chief justice serving as chair. According to the strategic agenda, the reconstituted conference provides a “more diverse and inclusive planning body for shaping the future of the Judicial Branch.”
The membership met in person four times over the last year as part of its strategic planning process. The finalization of the mission statement, vision statement, core values and five strategic goals marks the completion of the development phase. The implementation phase will begin later this year.
The core values of the judicial branch include:
- Fairness – impartial in our actions, decisions, and treatment of all.
- Accountability– responsible and answerable for our conduct and performance, and transparent in the use of public resources.
- Integrity – honest, trustworthy, and committed to the highest ethical and professional standards.
- Respect– treat all with dignity, courtesy, and understanding.
The judicial branch’s strategic goals are to provide:
- Accessible justice & equal protection under the law
- Procedural fairness, timeliness, & operational efficiency
- Professionalism & accountability throughout the judicial branch
- Understanding of & confidence in the judicial branch
- Sufficient funding & effective use of judicial branch resources
More information on the Illinois Judicial Conference can be found on its website.
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