State Judiciary Principles
- The Judicial Branch is an independent, co-equal branch of government; its judges are fair, impartial and competent, and composed of men and women of integrity who will interpret and apply the law that governs our society.
- The Supreme Court operates the state court system as a unified system, in accordance with the Vermont Constitution, Ch. II, Sect. 4, which provides that “the judicial power of the State shall be vested in a unified judicial system…”
- The Supreme Court manages, controls and is accountable for all resources and buildings that support state judicial services in Vermont, in accordance with the Vermont Constitution, Ch. II, Sect. 30, which provides that “the Supreme Court shall have administrative control of all the courts of the state...”
- The Supreme Court deploys resources in a manner that is cost efficient for the taxpayer while providing access to court services that is cost effective to litigants.
- Court services are provided in a system that:
o Is open, affordable, understandable, and with a level of service appropriate to the characteristics of the case.
o Ensures access to justice and respect for all litigants and members of the bar.
- Case decisions are made by appropriately educated and well-trained judicial officers; all judges must be lawyers. Trial court judges are capable of working in any court, hearing any case that needs to be heard on a particular day.
- Judicial officers issue timely decisions that do justice for the litigants, establish clear and ascertainable law, and apply the law correctly to the facts.
- The Judicial Branch is organized to minimize redundancies in courts’ structure, procedures and personnel, and to provide an efficient balance of workload among courts.
- Funding authorities provide resources that are appropriate to the structure and provide long-term stability in the budgeting, funding and operation of the Judicial Branch.