Paula Hannaford-Agor 
Director, Center for Jury Studies
National Center for State Courts

Greg Hurley
Knowledge and Information Services Analyst
National Center for State Courts

Council for Court Excellence receives 2017 G. Thomas Munsterman Award

Organization honored for comprehensive jury service program

Williamsburg, Va. (October 5, 2017)  The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) has been selected as the recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) 2017 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation. The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations or individuals that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations and practices. The award is named for the founder and former director of NCSC’s Center for Jury Studies and an internationally renowned innovator in jury systems and research.

CCE was established in 1982 and their work on jury system improvements spans the organization’s 35 years, beginning with advocacy for one-day-or-one-trial jury service in D.C. Superior Court, which was adopted in 1986.  In 1990, CCE organized the first Jury Service Appreciation program with the local and federal courts in the District of Columbia.  In 1995, CCE established the D.C. Jury Project and within a few years, published Juries for the Year 2000 and Beyond: Proposals to Improve the Jury System in Washington, D.C. The publication had 32 specific recommendations that were transformative to the jury system in D.C. and a driver of change for courts around the country.  In 2015, they published Jury Service Revisited: Upgrades for the 21st Century, a comprehensive study of the jury system in D.C.’s local and federal courts that proposes several reforms to strengthen the institution of the jury.  These reforms are currently being implemented in D.C.  CCE has also done a significant amount of other work to improve jury service. 

“For more than three decades CCE has been a leader in the development and implementation of jury system innovations that have helped the courts in D.C have some of the best jury systems in the country,”  says Paula Hannaford-Agor, Director of NCSC’s Center for Jury Studies. “Although their work has primarily been confined to the jury system in a small geographical area, the impact of their work has been influential nationally and abroad as other jurisdictions have been influenced by their successes to incorporate jury innovations into their own systems.” 

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court reform organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.


National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA  23185-4147