Court Governance

Utah Judicial Council

Utah Judicial Council

The Utah Judicial Council is the policy-making body for the judiciary. It has the constitutional authority to adopt uniform rules for the administration of all the courts in the state. The Council also sets standards for judicial performance, court facilities, support services, and judicial and non-judicial staff levels.

The Council consists of fourteen members. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court chairs the Council. The other members include: a Supreme Court Justice; a judge of the Court of Appeals; five District Court judges; two Juvenile Court judges; three Justice Court judges; a state bar representative; and the State Court Administrator, who serves as secretariat to the Council. The judges serve three-year terms, and the state bar representative also serves three years.

By rule, the Judicial Council established a Board of Judges for each level of court. Boards of Judges adopt administrative rules in accordance with the guidelines of the Council, advise the Council, supervise the implementation of Council policies and serve as liaisons between judges and the Council.

The Judicial Council holds monthly meetings throughout the state. All the meetings are open and may be attended by interested parties. They providean opportunity for other branches of government, federal agencies, andcitizens to present issues and concerns directly to the judiciary.

Indigent Defense Committee

The Judicial Council Study Committee on the Representation of Indigent Criminal Defendants in Trial Courts prepared a report which is the culmination of the efforts of the Study Committee on the Representation of Indigent Criminal Defendants (the Committee), formed by the Judicial Council in 2011. The Committee was asked to assess the provision of indigent criminal defense services at the trial level in Utah courts and to identify any concerns and make appropriate recommendations for improvement.

To accomplish the Committee's task, the Committee engaged the Sixth Amendment Center to perform a study of Utah's indigent defense systems. Their report provided important information and analysis that was used by the Committee to develop its own findings and recommendations. The Sixth Amendment Center report is an appendix to the Committee's report and can be found through the Sixth Amendment Center's website at

  • Representation of Indigent Criminal Defendants in Trial Courts Report - PDF Document PDF

The Administrative Office of the Courts

The Court Administrator Act, passed in 1973 and revised in 1986, provides for the appointment of a State Court Administrator, an individual with professional ability and experience in the field of public administration and an understanding of court procedures and services. The State Court Administrator is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, District, Juvenile, and Justice Court Administrators, trial court executives, and management personnel in the following areas: Human Resources, Public Information, Planning and Research, Finance, Information Technology, Information Services, Audit and General Counsel. The Administrative Office of the Courts serves as staff to the Judicial Council, rules committees, boards of judges, standing and ad hoc committees, and nominating commissions and provides support to Clerks of Court and Trial Court Executives throughout the state.

Page Last Modified: 10/26/2015
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