"This is one of the most significant developments in an almost 180 year history of courts in Victoria. This structure will enable the Courts and VCAT to better serve the Victorian community with the assurance that they do so independently of executive government."
- Chief Justice Marilyn Warren
The establishment of Court Services Victoria on 1 July 2014 heralded a new era of independence for Victoria's courts. From that day, judicial services became independent of the executive arm of government and Victoria's courts and tribunals became accountable directly to parliament.
The Court Services Victoria Act 2014 established CSV as an independent statutory body corporate to provide services and facilities to Victoria's courts, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Judicial College of Victoria. CSV was formed to strengthen the independence of Victoria's courts and tribunals, and to put court administration into the hands of an entity directed by the judiciary.
While the courts, VCAT and JCV themselves remain as separate and distinct entities and their governing councils, internal arrangements and rule-making responsibilities remain unchanged, their executives come together with the Chief Executive Officer to manage CSV as a whole.
Each Court is responsible for establishing how the judicial business of the court is managed in accordance with law. Each Jurisdiction, through the Head of Jurisdiction, directs the administrative support provided by CSV Jurisdiction-based staff under the management of the Court CEO.
The governing body of CSV is the Courts Council, chaired by the Chief Justice and comprising the heads of each jurisdiction and up to two non-judicial members.
Speaking at the launch of CSV, Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, said independence of the judiciary was a foundation principle of our constitutional democracy.
Chief Justice Warren said that for many years the judiciary had sought to achieve administrative arrangements which would reflect and support the independence of the courts as a third arm of government.
"We now have an enhanced capacity to innovate and respond to emerging issues based on first-hand knowledge of the court system. This structure will enable the courts and VCAT to better serve the Victorian community with the assurance that we do so independently of executive government."
The video below presents highlights from the CSV launch on 1 July 2014.