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Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making

Start Date
Saturday 19 October 2024 at 10:00 AM
Final written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments
Delivery Method
Lectures Wednesdays and occasional Saturdays with interactive workshops. Also available to view on-demand.
CPD Hours
The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader
Suzanne Crilly, Solicitor, Course Leader: S.Crilly@LawSociety.ie

Application information

The closing date for applications for this course is 4 October 2024. To apply please follow the instructions below.


To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button, otherwise please complete one of the application forms in the Download section below and send it to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie , indicating in your cover email should you need an invoice to pay by EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) or if you wish to pay by card over the phone.

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €335 bringing the total course fee to €3,400. No fees are required prior to approval.


Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content.

If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List . 

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • Strengthened their case-management and leadership skills;
  • Attained an understanding of the skills needed to preside over various forums;
  • Developed their awareness of the complexities of the decision-making process;
  • Practiced and honed their skills with respect to drafting written judgments; and
  • Increased their knowledge regarding an array of issues that have a daily impact on adjudicatory forums in Ireland, including social diversity, equality, and vulnerable witnesses. 

Programme structure and approach to learning

This diploma will provide participants with case-management leadership skills and practical training on how to run a case in any forum. It will also prepare participants for adjudicatory and tribunal roles, and will explore the skills needed to preside over various forums. 

Practical workshops on arriving at a determination and drafting judgments will be facilitated by means of case studies. An interactive online module on mediation will take a look at the challenges arising from integrating the mediation process with the legal system, examine key mediation skills and give students an insight into how the Mediation Act 2017 affects traditional court-based proceedings. The diploma also features a distinct module on awareness and sensitivity training and dealing with vulnerable witnesses and clients. 


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: The exercise of judicial skills and decision-making

  • Ethical considerations; types of judicial roles/quasi-judicial bodies,
  • Understanding and managing the trial process,
  • Rules of evidence from the decision-maker’s perspective.

Module 2: Mediation, managing proceedings, and administering justice

  • Mediation overview from a judicial perspective,
  • The effect of the Mediation Act 2017.

Module 3: Written judgments and decision-making skills

  • Drafting written judgments,
  • Proceedings involving litigants-in-person,
  • Assessing credibility; assessing expert evidence.

Module 4: The social context of law

  • Examination of cultural diversity in Ireland,
  • Independence and accountability,
  • Equality legislation and inclusion,
  • Consistency in sentencing,
  • Dealing with vulnerable clients or witnesses.


Workshops are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice. 

*Selected workshops will form part of the continuous assessment for the course.

1Avoidance of bias and stereotypingWednesday 13 November 20246pm (online)
2Drafting Written JudgmentsSaturday 30 November 202410am - 12.30pm (onsite)
3Personal LeadershipSaturday 18 January 202510am - 4.30pm (onsite)


Who should attend?

This course is suitable for: 

  • Solicitors, barristers, and other relevant professionals who wish to develop the skills necessary to preside over various forums,
  • Directors or other relevant professionals seeking to gain necessary training with regard to overseeing decision-making processes in a corporate environment.

We welcome applications from others who are suitably qualified. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €335. 


Final written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments.


Lecturers are drawn from members of the judiciary in Ireland both past and present, leading barristers and solicitors, and members of independent public bodies. Tutors are drawn from experienced trainers in the relevant area, both from this jurisdiction and internationally, and from other legal practitioner experts. 

Past speakers have included:

  • The Honourable Ms. Justice Marie Baker, Supreme Court, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Peart, retired Court of Appeal Judge, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice John A. Edwards, Court of Appeal, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald Binchy, Court of Appeal, Ireland,
  • His Honour Judge John O’Connor, Circuit Court, Ireland,
  • His Honour Judge Keenan Johnson, Circuit Court Ireland,
  • Judge Patrick McMahon, retired District Court Judge, Ireland,
  • Bob Semple, Consultant,
  • John Kennedy SC,
  • Stephen O’Hare, CEO, HIV Ireland,
  • James Geoghegan BL,
  • Ronan Kennedy SC,
  • Tinu Cornish, Director, Sea-Change Consultancy,
  • Patrick Fitzgerald BL,
  • Marguerite Buckley, Solicitor, Marguerite Buckley & Company Solicitors,
  • Caroline McEnery, Managing Director, The HR Suite,
  • Hilkka Becker, Chairperson, International Protection Appeals Tribunal,
  • John Lonergan, Author & Former Mountjoy Prison Governor,
  • Gwendolen Morgan, Director of Legal Services, WRC,
  • Vivian Geiran, Adjunct Professor, Trinity College Dublin & Retired Director of the Probation Service, Ireland,
  • Mariette Baptist-Fruin, Trainer,
  • Sabine Walsh Head of Curriculum, Mediator Academy, Solicitor & Mediator,
  • Eddie Mullins, CEO Merchants Quay Ireland & Former Governor of Mountjoy Prison.

We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet. 

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2024. This complimentary event is a dedicated professional development and solicitor wellbeing and client care and professional standards session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year


Suzanne Crilly, Solicitor, Course Leader: S.Crilly@LawSociety.ie  .

*Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.

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