Including a forward-looking, anticipatory capacity in court governance
Vision 2032: Courts are viewed internally and externally as anticipating and prepared for societal changes that impact the delivery of justice
If courts are to fully embrace the need for transformative change in their administrative and procedural functions, they need to build and sustain the capacity to better anticipate potential changes in the future and identify options for innovation, adaptation, and modernization. This includes relying on experts and data from a variety of fields and embedding strategic foresight planning frameworks, such as identifying driving forces of change and developing scenarios of possible futures, like those used in generating the Just Horizons report.
Part of building this forward-looking, anticipatory governance capacity is developing a future-literate court community. Armed with strategic foresight skills to expand their traditional frameworks for gathering and using information, judges and court staff will be better positioned to anticipate change, ensure the future-readiness of existing policies, and develop new policies that take advantage of scientific insights and technological innovations. Further, demonstrating the court community’s commitment to improve court operations to meet the evolving needs of the public provides an opportunity to enhance public trust and confidence in a way that words, alone, cannot.
Key future-ready questions to consider
1.1 We educate ourselves through reading, conference presentations, and/or training programs about drivers of change that could impact the delivery of justice in the future.
1.2 We consider long-range social and technological trends in developing the court’s strategic plan.
1.3 We look to our colleagues in other jurisdictions and/or seek outside expertise in developing adaptive and inventive solutions to prepare for future challenges.
1.4 We seek and review data about the sources of information that influence court users’ perceptions about courts.
1.5 We work with government and private sector experts to enhance the proliferation of accurate information and counter inaccurate information about courts.
Key resources for moving forward
- For information on NCSC services available on strategic planning, please contact Kristen Trebil-Halbersma.
- Scoblic, J. P. (2021, December). Strategic Foresight in U.S. Agencies: An Analysis of Long-term Anticipatory Thinking in the Federal Government
- U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight website
- U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2022, March). Trends Affecting Government and Society