Final Report: Developing National Leadership Collaboration: How Might CCJ, COSCA, NGA and the NCSL Work Together to Forge Better Public Policy?
Williamsburg, VA: Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators (2013)
14 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2014
Date Written: September 6, 2013
In July 2013, the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators held their annual meeting on the theme “Collaborative Justice: Interbranch Relations in the New Century.” In the spirit of this theme, organizers created a meeting and panel discussion on the opportunity for the three branches of state government to collaborate through their national associations. The result of this meeting (and the subject of this report) is that there would be great value in building collaborative policy efforts among the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), the National Governors Association (NGA) and National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
This report represents an effort to summarize the need for collaboration, the opportunities collaborative efforts create, the challenges of collaboration, and an effort to describe initial steps to get us there. In summary, collaboration provides an enormous opportunity for four leading associations to speak with one voice on some of the most difficult policy problems facing our nation. Leadership, policy expertise, research expertise, and advocacy efforts are all strengths shared by each organization. Overlapping interests and opportunities to work together in each of these four areas should be explored. An important and ancillary effort of collaboration is the opportunity to create communication and build networks that might improve interbranch relations, which have suffered in some states. The effort to collaborate at the national level may have spillover effects that could foster collaborative efforts among the branches inside states. For example, a summit was held in Vermont to create policy change in the foster care system and an emerging example of intrastate collaboration is an effort being built in the State of Tennessee among partnering agencies that serve the justice system.
The primary recommendation is for the four associations to meet to explore collaboration and focus on building a meeting structure, identifying stakeholders, exploring policy issues that might attract support of all organizations, and looking at ongoing efforts that the associations might sponsor together.
Keywords: Interbranch Relations, Conference of Chief Justices, Conference of State Court Administrators, National Governors Association, Intergovernmental Relations, Courts, Judiciary
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