Evaluating Judicial Performance for Caseload Allocation

(2015) 41 (2) Monash University Law Review 445-468

24 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2016

See all articles by Anne Wallace

Anne Wallace

La Trobe Law School

Sharyn Roach Anleu

Flinders University - Department of Sociology

Kathy Mack

Flinders University - School of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This article examines the principles and processes governing the allocation of work to judicial officers in Australian courts. It investigates the extent to which implicit evaluation of judicial performance occurs as part of the workload allocation process. This allocation is influenced primarily by the need to dispose of the court’s business efficiently as well as by a desire to provide a fair distribution of work. Although Australian courts traditionally value generalist judges who can deal with all types of cases that come before them, efficiency (and fairness) may require recognising and utilising particular knowledge and skills of each judicial officer. As a result, assessments of the performance of individual judicial officers necessarily form part of the allocation process. These assessments are often made by senior judicial officers or experienced court staff responsible for the caseload allocation process. They are generally made informally, relying on secondary sources of information, but may also be informed by direct knowledge of the judicial officer’s experiences or preferences in relation to type or amount of work. While important for the flexibility of court operations, these informal evaluations can lead to some inefficiencies and unfairness.

Keywords: courts, judiciary, caseload, allocation, performance evaluation

Suggested Citation

Wallace, Anne and Roach Anleu, Sharyn and Mack, Kathy, Evaluating Judicial Performance for Caseload Allocation (2015). (2015) 41 (2) Monash University Law Review 445-468. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2757524

Anne Wallace (Contact Author)

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142
Australia

Sharyn Roach Anleu

Flinders University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Adelaide, S.A, 5001
Australia
+61 8 8201 2122 (Phone)
+61 8 8201 3521 (Fax)

Kathy Mack

Flinders University - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide S.A. 5001
Australia
+08 8201 3627 (Phone)

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