News & Events

Pirate's Eye On Collins Ijoma & Giuseppe Fazari
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Collins E. Ijoma, M.P.A. ’83
Collins E. Ijoma, M.P.A. ’83

Giuseppe M. Fazari ’96, M.P.A. ’98, Ph. D. ‘03
Giuseppe M. Fazari ’96, M.P.A. ’98, Ph. D. ‘03 
The Superior Court of New Jersey Essex Vicinage is the largest in New Jersey, fifth largest in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. With more than 1,000 employees, thousands of cases and more than 180,000 jurors called for service annually, the court is also one of the busiest in the world. Keeping the wheels of justice moving in Essex County is a non-stop job, and the two men at the helm are graduates of Seton Hall’s Masters in Public Administration program.

Trial Court Administrator Collins E. Ijoma, M.P.A. '83 and Assistant Trial Court Administrator Giuseppe M. Fazari '96, M.P.A. '98, Ph. D. '03 oversee daily operations in the massive system. Their main job? "To help the entire system run efficiently," says Ijoma, a native of Nigeria who came to the United States in 1976.

Ijoma's career in court administration spans nearly 30 years. As trial court administrator he oversees the management of a variety of areas that include facilities management, caseflow management, intake, security, production management, jury management and human resources, and a budget in excess of $50 million.

Ijoma likens the court system to that of a hospital, "the judges in the court are similar to the doctors in a hospital, and we’ve got to make sure that they maintain independence while having the ability to do their jobs without interruption."

Fazari joined the New Jersey Judiciary in 2004, and has served as an assistant criminal division manager and jury manager, prior to his current role as assistant trial court administrator, where he is responsible for overseeing the daily operations in a variety of the areas within the court system. He was born shortly after his parents immigrated to the United States from Italy and, like Ijoma, learned English as a second language.

"I think for both of us to come from such different backgrounds, from such different places in the world, and to end up working together in Essex County after having come through the same program at Seton Hall at different times is pretty amazing in and of itself," says Fazari.

What's clear when sitting down and speaking with these two proud Pirates is their devotion to the justice system. One phrase Fazari repeats: "it's humbling to be a part of this cornerstone of democracy."

Both men speak passionately of justice and its importance in American society. "The judiciary," as Ijoma puts it, "stands between civilization and anarchy." He also says that he thinks regularly of Federalist Paper number 17, an essay by Alexander Hamilton in which he discusses the importance of the role of the state in administering "criminal and civil justice." The thing that separates the United States from so many other places, according to Ijoma, is our system of justice. The system, he says, is second to none.

Governments from around the world would seem to agree, as they regularly send representatives to visit the court complex in Newark to observe and learn from the systems that Ijoma and Fazari have put into place.

Of particular interest is the Office of the Ombudsman, a position created by Ijoma in response to a need for a neutral party to take a role in assisting those involved in legal proceedings to navigate the court system. "People were coming here and they didn't know what to do," he recalls, "we needed a central place for them to go for help." As described on the court's website, the Ombudsman provides a bridge between the courts and the community to enhance public access and improve customer service. Staff members answer questions about all areas of the court system and provide additional assistance to court users who may not understand the status of their court case.

If the court is like a hospital, the Ombudsman is the I.C.U. and Ijoma and Fazari its chief administrators.

For more information please contact:
Dan Nugent
(973) 378-2641


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