The paper presents the first results of the national program "Diffusion of best practices within the Italian judicial offices". The program represents the first large scale at- tempt at modernization of the judicial offices and focuses on the organization and quality of work processes, ICT use, and the relations with the users. The paper analyses the program design, which is based on a mix of top-down actions of the central state administrations and bottom-up interventions proposed by the local judicial offices. The hypothesis at the basis of the paper supports the view that the design is justified as it enhances the experimentation capacities at local level and values the partnerships with local stakeholders. This aspect is also underlined by the specific literature (in particular by the literature on professional organizations). In the Italian case, which is characterized by strong regional imbalances in terms of social and economic development, strong program coordination is needed. However, this is not yet guaranteed either by central administrations or by partnerships among local offices. The paper underlines, in a specific part, the new governance order that a the local level supports the modernization of judicial services.
Keywords: Judicial Offices, Administrative Reforms, Public Governance, Change Management, Quality in Public Services, Law Court of Milan.