Court Councils, Commissions, and Committees
Role of Court Committees
While the State Courts System is administered by the Chief Justice and the Florida Supreme Court, the policy development strategy of the judicial branch is, in many respects, very collegial. Committees are the mechanism established by the supreme court for developing consensus on appropriate judicial branch policies affecting the administration of justice. Committees allow the branch to take advantage of the rich intellectual, social, and experiential diversity of judges, practitioners, court staff, and topical experts.
State Courts System committees usually receive their authority and directive through an administrative order of the Chief Justice. Court committees have no authority to become involved in issues beyond the scope of their order, absent requesting and receiving approval in advance from the Supreme Court. Most court committees are advisory with no direct policy making authority; they make recommendations for consideration by the supreme court.
Committees may be appointed when a specific issue or concern is brought to the Supreme Court’s attention, or when the Supreme Court desires to evaluate and improve the court system’s performance in a particular area. Court committees make a vital contribution to the function of the judicial branch.
The current court committee structure involves FIVE committee types:
- Division steering committee
- Work group/task force
- Other committees
A council is responsible for addressing judicial administration issues that have statewide impact, affect multiple levels of the court system, or affect multiple constituencies in the court community. Council membership includes internal and external representation.
- Judicial Management Council - see Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.225, AOSC22-40
- Workgroup on Judicial Practices in the Trial Courts
- Workgroup on Access to Justice
A commission addresses high-level policy issues that span the divisions and/or levels of the court. Membership of court commissions primarily consists of judicial officers and court personnel.
- District Court of Appeal Budget Commission – see Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.235, AOSC23-40
- Trial Court Budget Commission – see Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.230, AOSC23-67
- Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability- see AOSC22-24
- Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability - see AOSC22-36
- Florida Courts Technology Commission – see Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.236, AOSC23-36
- Florida Court Education Council – see AOSC22-35
- Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy – see AOSC23-38
A steering committee represents the interests of a particular court division. Steering committees develop an aspirational vision of the ideal court division; recommend models, standards, and best practices; and conduct court improvement initiatives. Steering committees also address the impact on their topical assignment area of new legislation, case law, federal guidelines, and other changes.
- Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court – see AOSC22-28
- Criminal Court Steering Committee – see AOSC22-30
- Steering Committee on Problem-Solving Courts - see AOSC22-29
Work Group/Task Force
A work group or task force is an ad hoc group appointed for a specific period of time to address a specific issue or narrow topic. Work groups and task forces conduct studies, prepare reports, and take other appropriate action as directed by the Chief Justice.
- Unified Committee on Judicial Compensation – see Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.244
This group encompasses other committees required by Court opinion, statutory provisions, or other requirements and that should, by reason of their regulatory or other responsibilities, operate more independently from Court oversight.
- Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases - see AOSC22-32
- Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases - see AOSC23-82
- Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Contract and Business Cases - see AOSC22-21
- Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee – see Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges, 327 So. 2d 5 (Fla. 1976)
- Mediator Qualifications and Discipline Review Board – see rule 10.730, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators - see AOSC24-2
- Mediation Training Review Board – see AOSC20-114
- Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee – see AOSC22-38
- Court Interpreter Certification Board – see rule 14.110, Florida Rules for Certification and Regulation of Court Interpreters, AOSC23-42
- Local Rule Advisory Committee – see rule 2.140(h), AOSC22-31
- Parenting Coordinator Review Board - see AOSC24-1