Nearly two dozen Chinese officials tasked with recommending judicial reforms in their home country visited the Judicial Council’s San Francisco office last week to get an in-depth look at how the California legal system works.
Among the topics covered were technology initiatives; collaborative courts offering treatment services for drug addiction or mental health in lieu of incarceration; and alternative dispute resolution programs that help keep cases out of trial.
It was the fourth foreign delegation to visit the Judicial Council in recent years. Other groups have included judicial officers from Kenya, Afghanistan and Jordan, including its chief justice.
“It’s important that we have this opportunity to talk about the innovative things we’re doing in the California courts,” said Administrative Director Martin Hoshino.
The Chinese delegation spent three weeks in the United States, including a stop in Washington, D.C. to study the federal courts, said Robert Sargin, deputy director of the non-profit International Law Institute in Washington, D.C., which organized the trip. While in California, the Chinese group also visited the Commission on Judicial Performance, State Bar of California, Stanford Law School and the San Francisco Police Department.