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Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making

Start Date 16 October 2019 at 6:00 PM
Assessment One written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments. Final submission date: 04 March 2020.
Delivery Method On-site Wednesdays and Saturdays, with lectures webcast online
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 Cian Monahan, Solicitor, Course Leader: C.Monahan@LawSociety.ie



This item is not available to book online

Application information

We are no longer accepting applications for this course. If you are interested in applying for the next course, please register here for our Interested List. We would be happy to contact you when applications open for the next offering of this course. We look forward to welcoming you to study with the Diploma Centre.

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment .

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 €200 bringing the total course fee to €3,000. 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.

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 fora, including adjudicatory, tribunal, and board roles,
  • 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, tribunal, and board 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 and role-play sessions. A module on mediation will discuss how the Mediation Act 2017 affects traditional court-based proceedings, with a particular focus on mediation in the commercial context and in family law. 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,
  • The application and recruitment process,
  • 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,
  • Functions and duties of chairpersons of a board.

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 a key feature of this course. These 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, and students are asked to make sure that they are available to attend on-site on these dates. 

WorkshopTitleDateTime Description
1Avoidance of bias and stereotyping Saturday 19 October 2019

10:00 – 14:00

Through role-play and practical exercises participants will learn how to avoid irrational decision-making and unconscious bias encroaching in relation to pressure courtroom situations.
2Workplace Relations Commission Saturday 09 November 201911:00 – 14:00This interactive workshop will require students to participate in role-play interactions with respect to a mock WRC hearing, from the perspective of the relevant decision-maker. Participants will gain an insight into how to maintain order, manage proceedings and administer justice effectively.
3Practical Mediation Skills Demonstration and Interactive ExercisesWednesday 13 November 201918:00 – 20:30Mediation process stages and strategies, key mediation skills and their use in different contexts, communication and negotiation, the role of lawyers and other advisers in mediation, crafting mediated settlement agreement.
4Boardroom Simulation 
Saturday 23 November 201911:00 – 15:00This interactive workshop will require students to participate in role-play interactions with respect to a mock boardroom meeting.  Participants will gain an insight into how to maintain order, manage proceedings and administer justice effectively. 
5Drafting Written Judgments
Saturday 30 November 201910:00 – 13:00In this interactive workshop students will have gain first-hand experience in drafting judgments/determinations/decisions focusing on core skills.
6Judicial Skills
Saturday 18 January 202012:00 – 16:00Arranged around small group activities, this interactive workshop will require participants to focus on the skillset needed to properly carry out judicial and quasi-judicial roles. Such skillsets include an awareness of issues relevant to procedural justice and competent judicial communication skills. 

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for: 

  • Solicitors, barristers, and other relevant professionals who wish to develop the skill-set necessary for adjudicatory, tribunal, and board roles, or the skills necessary 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 €200. 


One written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments. Final submission date: 04 March 2020.


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:

  • Justice Michael Peart, Court of Appeal, Ireland,
  • Tina Bond, deputy district judge on the North East Circuit England and Wales,
  • Judge Colin Daly, District Court, Ireland,
  • Judge John O’Connor, District Court, Ireland,
  • Geraldine Clark, partner, Gleeson McGrath Baldwin Solicitors,
  • Paul Egan, chairman of corporate, Mason Hayes and Curran,
  • Bob Semple, consultant,
  • Dr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill BL,
  • Paul Anthony McDermott SC,
  • John Kennedy BL, and
  • Stephen O’Hare, CEO, Transgender Equality Network Ireland.


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 2019. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 



Cian Monahan, Solicitor, Course Leader: C.Monahan@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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This item is not available to book online