Guam – Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido delivered his final State of the Judiciary Address this morning, highlighting the accomplishments of the island’s third branch of government from being “broken” to “organized, dependable and efficient,” during his tenure as Chief Justice.
“In October 2000, my hope was flamed only by a vision. Today, having seen that vision realized, having witnessed the Judiciary surmount great hurdles by a willingness to work together, my hope is now flamed by experience,” proclaimed Carbullido.
The Judiciary’s history of success during his tenure resonated throughout Carbullido’s speech, but the Chief Justice also highlighted some of its evident failures and areas that need improvement.
“The number of youth in the justice system has been on the rise in recent years, and alarmingly so. In 2012, 193 of our island’s children were under supervised probation–that’s up from 142 in 2011. Last year, our Juvenile Drug Court received 217 new cases. And the active caseload for our Juvenile Probation Office went from 656 in 2011 to 721 in 2012,” says Carbullido. “Clearly, for the sake of these youth and our community, we must find ways to give these children the support and attention they need to steer them away from a life of crime and drugs.”
Carbullido also stressed the need to form vital partnerships with other branches of government and urged all leaders to continue its support for the Judicial branch.
“Our economic strength has wavered, and with a shrinking economy came the expected rise in crime and in business disputes–matters which ended up on the doorsteps of our courthouse,” says Carbullido.
He brought up another State address from two years ago in which he urged all leaders to return to the basics of governance.
“Now, here we are, two years later, and I can say with much optimism that all indications point to recovery. Although we are by no means out of the financial troubles that cripped us a few years ago, our island seems to have begun its bounce toward a more stable and healthy economy,” Carbullido noted.
As an indication of the court’s ability to avert crisis, he emphasized the Judiciary’s diligence in finding ways to cut costs with a reduced budget while continuing to maintain critical services for court patrons as well as avoiding furloughs for its employees.
Carbullido ended on a good note, highlighting his the judicial branch’s accomplishments, culminating with the establishment of a Supreme Court of Guam on par in stature with the highest courts as the rest of the nation as well as a unified judiciary.