One year anniversary of Court Services Victoria

Photo of the CSV Courts Council

Today marks the first anniversary of Court Services Victoria (CSV). This historic landmark event created for Victorian courts and tribunals an independent body directed by the Heads of Jurisdiction, which is free from departmental or political involvement, and accountable directly to the Parliament.  This significant change to Victoria's justice system will assist in our goal to enhance public confidence in the judiciary.    

The first year of CSV's operation has been focused on setting a foundation for the long-term sustainability of the entity, and enabling Victoria's courts and tribunals to flourish and achieve excellence in court administration in a Judicial led environment. 

I am pleased that CSV has been embraced by the Judiciary, including the Heads of all Jurisdictions who come together to form the Courts Council and act as chairs of the six portfolio committees.  Judicial members of the portfolio committees have played a vital role in leading the development of the new statutory entity. I have been impressed and inspired by the commitment and passion demonstrated across these critical governance functions. 

An environment of collegiality and collaboration led by CSV's Chief Executive Officer, with the jurisdiction Chief Executive Officers, has rapidly developed and reflects the unlimited potential for innovation, sharing and support across the court and tribunal system. 

Courts and tribunals have been able to take account of an appropriate courts culture in the development of new policies, procedures and business processes; new delegations appropriate to strengthening independence of individual jurisdictions; and focusing on strategic planning to manage our financial, physical and human resources.  

Significant progress has been made in developing a first class Information Technology Strategic Plan to guide the development of CSV's information technology capability which reflect the needs of a contemporary organisation. 

I note also, the significant effort and progress made by CSV's operational division Jurisdiction Services, to build the capability and culture required for a standalone provider of support services to courts and tribunals.  Extensive work has been undertaken in this area and has laid the foundation for further transformative change in 2015-16.

To ensure that it is achieving its objectives, CSV has been working with jurisdictions to implement relevant performance indicators, based on those set out in the International Framework for Courts Excellence.  CSV successfully engaged in the budget process for 2015-16, notably achieving revision of our performance measures to better align them to the International Framework for Courts Excellence. 

On 7 May 2015 an historic Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Attorney-General and Courts Council.  The MOU recognises and enshrines the unique constitutional roles of the Courts and Executive Government and sets out how business will be conducted between the Attorney-General, the Department of Justice and Regulation, and Department of Treasury and Finance. 

I also acknowledge the support of the Department of Justice and Regulation, particularly the Secretary, Mr Greg Wilson, in supporting the Attorney-General on legislative and judicial policy matters related to the Courts portfolio.  An operational service level agreement between CSV and the Department of Justice and Regulation will be signed shortly, signifying how the two entities will continue to work together.  

Against these strong foundations, CSV faces contemporary challenges, including -built environment, safety and security, modern information technology solutions, reliable forecasting and planning capability, the effective management of human and physical resources - which require a strong service culture and innovation in order to find timely and workable solutions.  

Looking forward to the year ahead, the inaugural CSV three year strategic plan and priority actions will help to drive the ongoing development of the entity.  

It is with sadness and deep appreciation I note the retirement of two Heads of Jurisdiction this year.
His Honour Chief Judge Michael Rozenes AO retired from his role on 22 June 2015.  Judge Rozenes was a foundation member of Courts Council and also chaired the Information Technology Portfolio Committee.  Under his leadership much has been achieved in advancing an Information Technology Strategy and taking early steps towards embracing the digital age and introducing key services reforms such as e-Lodgement. 

His Honour Judge Peter Couzens, President of the Children's Court also retired this year.  Judge Couzens chaired the Human Resources Portfolio Committee which oversaw the transition from the Department of Justice and Regulation to CSV of more than 1600 staff, the establishment of new delegations, human resources policies and workforce planning. 

I take this opportunity to welcome our two new members of Courts Council - Judge Michael McInerney was appointed as Acting Chief Judge in March 2015, and Judge Amanda Chambers was appointed a Judge of the County Court of Victoria and President of the Children's Court of Victoria on 9 June 2015.

I wish to thank Mr Alan Clayton, the CEO of CSV, and his staff for their leadership and dedication in supporting this reform to court administration.  The expertise and support provided by Jurisdiction Services, and the commitment to embedding a new service culture are deeply appreciated.  

I would also like to thank each jurisdiction CEO and their staff for their commitment to building stronger and more sustainable jurisdictions. 

Finally, I extend my thanks to fellow Courts Council and Portfolio Committee  members for their hard work and engagement this year in setting CSV on a strong footing. 

I look forward to the coming year and continuing to build upon the successes of this judicial led environment which has made us a point of significant interest both nationally and internationally. 

Chief Justice and Chair Courts Council




This page was last updated: Thursday 8 October 2015 - 4:38pm