We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Back to school: CPD for judges on ministerial radar
Minister Helen McEntee

05 Jan 2022 / judiciary Print

Back to school: CPD for all judges on ministerial radar

Training will be mandatory for both judges being promoted to higher courts and lawyers applying to serve to the bench, under new rules for judicial appointments.

Members of the judiciary have already asked for better induction systems and the changes are expected shortly in draft legislation from Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

Continuous professional development (CPD) for upper court judges will be part of the new Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) recommendations process for court appointments to the Government.

The Irish Times reports that all lawyers who seek elevation to the bench must have completed prior training before they apply for a position.

In September, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said that there was an objective need for judicial training.

“There are quite a number of skills that you use as a judge, that you simply don’t come across as a practitioner, except possibly by observing them,” he said.

Craft of judging

Mr Justice Humphreys said that training was needed in the ‘craft of judging’, including ethical dilemmas, rather than updates on the latest cases.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee says the new requirements will ensure criminals are punished and given appropriate sentences for their crimes, in particular in domestic violence cases and economic crimes.

The renewed emphasis on training also extends to lawyers and gardai dealing with such matters.

Applicant pool

Cabinet gave approval in December 2020 for an overhaul of the judicial appointments system with a wider applicant pool, to include academics.

But CPD for judges was not part of the 2020 draft proposal.

In May 2021, Law Society Director General Mary Keane expressed deep concern about the exclusion of the solicitor profession from the proposed JAC.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland