Leadership Survey

The most important qualities/behaviours a Head of Jurisdiction should have

In October 2014, Heads of Jurisdiction (Chief Justices, Chief Judges and Chief Magistrates) will attend a judicial leadership program. One session in the program will involve participants considering what stakeholders see as the most important qualities/behaviours of a good leader of a court. In this context ‘stakeholders’ has been limited to other members of the court, court administrators and Government representatives.

Below is a list of qualities/behaviours of a good Head of Jurisdiction as identified by judges/magistrates around Australia in a survey in 2011.

From the list of 9 qualities/attributes, please rank your top five in order of importance, with 1 being the most important.

This is an anonymous survey.

Stakeholder Survey

The most important qualities/behaviours a head of jurisdiction should have
  • Create a vision (commitment to do justice in the community) and convey it to judges, government and the community; create respect for the institution of the court; to set goals/objectives for the court and convey them.
  • To communicate to the public the role of the court and how it goes about its work; to handle the media effectively; speeches, writings.
  • Have an appropriate relationship with Executive; communicate effectively with the Attorney-General and other ministers, including to ensure the court is adequately resourced; ensure appointments are best available.
  • To ensure administration within the court is efficient; ensure the productivity of the court (timely completion of cases); management skills; delegation; ensure the efficient use of the court’s resources; doing more with less; best use of technology.
  • Intellectual ability appropriate to status as a head of a court; jurisprudential capacity.
  • To foster collegiality (a sense of unity) among judges; to get judges in the court working as a team; motivate; bring judges along with him /her; consult judges; to ensure courtesy/respect among judges; to foster social interaction among judges; clearly communicate what the expectations are.
  • To undertake a pastoral role with judges (health, workload, commitment/ enthusiasm, variety, use their leave; training, mentors); genuine concern for judges and families; to be approachable; open; willing to listen; willing to act; moral integrity; engenders trust/respect; fairness in allocation of work.
  • To commend good work (a good judgment; conduct a difficult case), praise, recognition, allocate roles e.g. rep the court in non-court activities; to provide constructive criticism where necessary.
  • To hear (some cases) and deliver judgments; Head of jurisdiction should sit: not too much not too little; sit enough so your judges knows that you know what they are going through.