San Francisco—Public business meetings of the Judicial Council of California will soon become more open and accessible to the public as a result of new changes suggested by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The Judicial Council is the administrative policymaking body of state courts, chaired by the Chief Justice.
Court of Appeal Justice Douglas Miller, newly-appointed chair of the council’s Executive and Planning Committee, today announced that the Chief Justice requested that the council take a “fresh and thorough look at every aspect of how the council operates and governs.” As a result, several new procedures have been established.
“Beginning August 26, 2011, the council’s business meetings will now start with an expanded public comment period,” Justice Miller stated.
“In addition, anyone wishing to comment on a matter related to judicial administration can speak directly to the council and comments will be welcome at the time the specific agenda item is presented.” In the past, public comments were made only at the beginning of council meetings and limited to items for council decision on that agenda.
Another important change is that the Judicial Council’s educational meetings, also known as “issues” meetings, will now be open to the public as a way of improving communication between the courts and the public. The Judicial Council’s next issues meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2011, will feature presiding judges and court executives discussing how to manage courts in times of declining resources.
The Judicial Council meets six to eight times a year; all of its business meetings are public and audiocast live on the California Courts website. Business meeting agendas and reports also are posted on the public Web site about one week before meetings are held.