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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.2. Judicial Council membership and terms

(a) Constitutional provision on membership and terms

(1)  Under article VI, section 6 of the California Constitution, the Judicial Council consists of the Chief Justice and one other justice of the Supreme Court, 3 justices of Courts of Appeal, 10 judges of superior courts, 2 nonvoting court administrators, and such other nonvoting members as determined by the voting membership of the council, each appointed by the Chief Justice to three-year terms; 4 members of the State Bar appointed by its governing body to three-year terms; and 1 member of each house of the Legislature appointed as provided by the house.

(2)  Council membership terminates if a member ceases to hold the position that qualified the member for appointment. A vacancy is filled by the appointing power for the remainder of the term.

(Subd (a) amended effective August 14, 2009; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Council officers and duties

(1)  Chair and vice-chair

(A)  The Chief Justice of California is the Chair of the Judicial Council and performs those functions prescribed by the Constitution and the laws of the State of California. The Chair is a voting member of the council. A reference to the Chair of the Judicial Council in the statutes or rules of this state means the Chief Justice of California.

(B)  The Chief Justice appoints a vice-chair from among the judicial members of the council. When the chair is absent, unable to serve, or so directs, the vice-chair performs all of the duties of the chair.

(C)  The Chief Justice appoints a Judicial Council member to serve as chair of the council in the event that both the Chief Justice and the council vice-chair are absent or unable to serve. The Chief Justice determines individuals to serve as chair from among the internal committee chairs and vice-chairs.

(2)  Chairs and vice-chairs of the internal committees

The Judicial Council has five internal committees composed of Judicial Council members, as specified in rule 10.10. The Chief Justice appoints for a one-year term the chair and vice-chair of each of the council's internal committees. Chairs call meetings, as necessary, and provide reports to the council on the activities of the internal committees.

(3)  Officers

The Judicial Council has eight officers: the chair, vice-chair, secretary, and the chairs of the council's five internal committees.

(4)  Administrative Director

The Administrative Director is the secretary to the Judicial Council and performs administrative and policymaking functions as provided by the Constitution and the laws of the State of California and as delegated by the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice. The secretary is not a voting member of the council.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2016; previously amended effective August 14, 2009.)

(c) Role of members

(1)  Council members are a governing body for California's judicial branch of government. In accepting appointment, they commit themselves to act in the best interest of the public and the judicial system for the purposes of maintaining and enhancing public access to the justice system, as well as preserving and enhancing impartial judicial decisionmaking and an independent judicial branch of government.

(2)  Council members do not represent any particular constituency notwithstanding any of their other affiliations or roles.

(3)  Council members communicate as representatives of the Judicial Council with the public, the courts, judicial officers, Judicial Council advisory bodies, other government entities, and justice system partners. They communicate about the council's processes, purposes, responsibilities, and issues and reasons for policy decisions, including those policy decisions where there is disagreement.

(Subd (c) amended effective August 14, 2009.)

(d) Terms

Council members are appointed to terms beginning September 15 and ending September 14. Terms for judge members are staggered. To the extent feasible, the State Bar and the Legislature should create staggered terms for their appointees.

(e) Restrictions on advisory committee membership

Unless otherwise provided by these rules or the Chief Justice waives this provision, neither council members nor nonvoting advisory council members may concurrently serve on a council advisory committee. This provision does not apply to members of the following advisory committees:

(1)  Administrative Presiding Justices;

(2)  Trial Court Presiding Judges; and

(3)  Court Executives.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2015; previously amended effective January 1, 2007 and August 14, 2009.)

Rule 10.2 amended effective January 1, 2016; adopted as rule 6.2 effective January 1, 1999; previously amended and renumbered as rule 10.2 effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective August 14, 2009, and January 1, 2015.

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