Justice 2020

   A message from Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch

Chief Justice Rebecca W. Berch photo

Strategic planning requires a clear view of where we have been and a clear vision for the future. As Arizona prepares to celebrate 100 years of statehood in 2012, we should reflect on how far we have come and plan to face the challenges that lie ahead. In this strategic agenda, we mark the milestones of our justice system and create a roadmap for excellence for the next five years.

While our justice system undoubtedly looked quite different a century ago, the Arizona Supreme Court’s essential vision remains unchanged: to provide the people of Arizona with a court system that fairly and impartially administers justice and efficiently resolves disputes. Courts must ensure that the rule of law protects the rights of all.

We must keep our focus as we navigate the challenges of operating a court system that serves a growing population of more than six million people. Case loads are exploding, while court funding is diminishing. We are proud of the technological advances we have made, and we have bold plans to implement new technologies to make the courts even more efficient. Using technology to improve access to court documents and to allow more electronic filing will continue to make the courts more transparent, accessible, and effective. These ongoing improvements are vital to maintaining public trust and confidence in our justice system.

We also recognize that the complexity of legal proceedings can frustrate those who encounter the courts. Victims, witnesses, and un represented litigants may confront bewildering instructions couched in sometimes obscure legal language. We strive to simplify court processes to make the courts more comprehensible and available to everyone. The complexity of the court system can also slow cases and make the system difficult to operate and navigate, and for those reasons as well we are working to streamline our processes.

We remain committed to the system­wide improvements that allow us to maintain our effectiveness in protecting children, families, victims, and other vulnerable people in Arizona.

As we move forward, we will also focus on ensuring that lawyers meet the highest standards and providing a system of lawyer accountability that is swift, fair, and cost­effective. 

I hope that when our descendants celebrate Arizona’s bicentennial, they will look back and see a justice system that evolved to respond to challenges, while never straying from its focus on ensuring justice.

Download a printer-friendly version of the Justice 2020 Strategic Plan (PDF)

Goal 1: Strengthening the Administration of Justice

Goal 2: Maintaining a Professional Workforce and Improving Operational Efficiencies

Goal 3: Improving Communications

Goal 4: Protecting Children, Families, and Communities

Goal 5: Improving the Legal Profession