Atlanta, February 15, 2019 – Chief Justice Harold D. Melton will deliver his first State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the Legislature this coming Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. in the House Chamber of the Georgia State Capitol. Chief Justice Melton succeeds the late P. Harris Hines, who died in a car crash last November just two months after he had retired from the Supreme Court of Georgia.

This annual address is an opportunity to update the legislative branch on the judicial branch by showcasing some of its achievements in the past year and the challenges ahead. In his remarks, Chief Justice Melton, who leads the judiciary, will thank the Legislature for its support in recent years and highlight some of the strides courts have made in the use of technology. “I believe we are only on the cusp of the technological change that will transform our courts in the coming years,” he will say.

He will also discuss some of the lessons that have been learned from the successes of Georgia’s accountability courts, also called “specialty” or “problem-solving” courts.” “We have enjoyed tremendous success, largely because we try to get to the root cause of the problem to stifle criminal behavior at the source,” he will say. But, “If these courts are able to have this kind of success with adults who often have had a lifetime of struggles and bad behavior, can we not have even greater success if we, in our communities, engage earlier in the timeline?” The Chief Justice will feature in his remarks a program at an Atlanta school that shows the success from engaging earlier in the process.

Media will receive an embargoed copy of the speech at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The speech will be live streamed at Media interested in obtaining a copy of the address should contact Member and Audience Services at Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to request a DVD. Please e-mail your request