This posting is on public trust and confidence in our courts. Public regard for courts remains an important objective for courts – and court leaders – since perceptions and opinions about court operations are impacted by how we as court leaders operate our organizations.
The judicial branch relies on public perceptions and trust in court processes to be perceived as fair and impartial. Credibility of court actions contributes to views that courts are important institutions. In a 2019 public opinion survey conducted by the National Center for State Courts, only 45% of survey respondents felt that courts understood the issues faced by litigants. Some good news though, 75% rated court processes as being fair (survey results may be reviewed at https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/16443/ncsc_sosc_2019_presentation.pdf). Implications for court leaders include the impetus to create processes and practices that court users can access, understand, and navigate for their individual cases.
The National Association for Court Management (NACM) has included the competency of Public Trust and Confidence as a significant area of knowledge, skills, and abilities for court leaders to master. The full CORE© competency on Public Trust and Confidence may be viewed and studied at https://nacmcore.org/competency/public-trust-and-confidence/.
I hope you enjoy reading about this competency. The next posting will expand on this idea of public trust by asserting that court leaders should be “listening leaders” and pay attention to public perceptions.