The courts and tribunals of Victoria function in a changeable environment and predicting the future is difficult. What is certain is that, like many institutions, over the next decade the judiciary will confront significant disruptions. As best we can imagine, they are likely to include:

  • Challenges to judicial independence
  • Heightened demands of public accountability and transparency
  • Growing need for justice services, including accessible justice
  • Progressively more intricate laws and legislation
  • Developments in science and technology, including social media, artificial intelligence and automation
  • Threats to security, including cyber security
  • Constantly evolving social, cultural and environmental issues
  • Dynamic policy settings.

In addition to these external impacts, the judiciary must also come to terms with changes in the judicial role as it extends beyond decision making and adjudicative functions. It must operate in an evolving internal environment which includes:

  • The formation of Court Services Victoria, giving judicial officers the major role in the governance and administration of Victorian courts and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • The establishment of the Judicial Commission of Victoria, enabling closer scrutiny of judicial performance
  • The implementation of the International Framework for Court Excellence sharpening the focus on the ability of courts to service the community.