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... official complaints recording system. Proposed complaint handling ... Requirement for information about complaints to be included in future Annual Reports ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title:


1
I have a Complaint!
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • AIJA Annual Court Administrators Conference
  • Adelaide, Friday 6 August 1999

2
Structure of Presentation
  • The Environment for Change
  • Present position in the Federal Court of
    Australia
  • Defining complaints, what should be recorded and
    responded to
  • Warts and all!

3
The Environment for Change
  • Greater consumer expectations
  • Business imperatives (that is, staying in
    business)
  • The Federal Governments service charter
    requirements (applicable to all Federal bodies)
  • Need to be client focussed to maintain public
    trust and cconfidence in Courts

4
Present Position in the Federal Court of Australia
  • Long standing culture of courteousness, and
    politeness as well as national user consultation
    has avoided complaints
  • Improvements can be made
  • Very few complaints - Many spurious, but not
    recorded in any cohesive way

5
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6
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7
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8
Present postion cont.
  • No official complaints recording system
  • Proposed complaint handling system developed and
    under consideration
  • Proposed system linked to Service Charter
  • Requirement for information about complaints to
    be included in future Annual Reports

9
Present postion cont.
  • Uncertainty about inclusion of and collection of
    complaints about the judiciary
  • Although local responses are proposed, it is also
    proposed that there be a collection of complaints
    and suggestions, to enable pro-active changes as
    problems identified
  • Security issues

10
Present postion cont.
  • Complaints are made (very rarely) about the way a
    judge has dealt with a case. These are dealt
    with by the Chief Justice. The judge concerned
    provides a response to the Chief Justice, and
    either the Chief Justice or the Registrar
    responds to the person complaining.
  • Complaints about the result are dealt with by the
    usual appeal process.
  • Reserve Judgments protocol

11
Defining Complaints - What should be recorded and
responded to?
  • Present proposal is that Registries record and
    therefore, respond to

12
Any complaints that are received either over the
counter, by telephone, or in writing (including
by e-mail) which raise a concern about the
service standards included in the charter eg.
  • Courtesy
  • promptness
  • physical access

13
Complaints about the Courts processes which
involve the Registry (not the judgment) including
complaints about
  • the manner of setting hearing dates (eg delays or
    inconvenient timing)
  • the overall time a case is taking
  • complaints about decisions on the non-acceptance
    of documents for filing
  • complaints about a particular procedure eg the
    system for determining costs

14
any suggestions or compliments about the Courts
services in the categories just mentioned
15
Warts and All
  • Existing culture produces an inherent avoidence
    of problems - problems (complaints) are seen as
    negative and not positive
  • Difficulty in generating a need for change about
    complaints
  • Difficulty in producing an environment that
    encourages a willingness to invite and deal with
    criticism

16
Warts and All cont.
  • Presumption that complaints mean that the
    organisation is not performing well (when it is,
    by quantitative performance criteria)
  • Complaints are not seen as suggestions or
    supportive calls for improvement

17
Warts and All cont.
  • A special system for Complaints about the
    Judiciary?
  • NSW has a system
  • According to those that operate it, it works well
  • there are other opinions

18
Warts and All cont.
  • There is a difficulty in separating complaints
    about usual practice and procedure and the
    individual practice of a judicial officer
  • Seperating the Judiciary and Registries - is it
    possible?

19
Warts and All cont.
  • Complaints about judicial decisions appropriately
    excluded, but the exclusion is often not
    understood or accepted. Perhaps there is room
    for better explanations of the reasons for
    decision.
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