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Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making

Start Date 13 October 2021 at 6:00 PM
Assessment Final written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments
Delivery Method Live online lectures Wednesdays and 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 Cian Monahan, Solicitor, Course Leader: C.Monahan@LawSociety.ie


Select delivery method:

Application information

The closing date for applications for this course is Wednesday 29 September 2021. To apply for this course please follow the instructions below.


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 €300 bringing the total course fee to €3,300. No fees are required prior to approval.


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

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 forums, 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. 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,
  • 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

  • Key principles that underpin the mediation process,
  • 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.

1Saturday 16 October 2021

10:00am – 3:00pm

2Saturday 06 November 2021Online interactive session
3Wednesday 10 November 20216:00pm - 8:00pm
4Saturday 27 November 202110:00am – 3:00pm
5Wednesday 01 December 20216:00pm - 8:00pm
6Saturday 15 January 202210:00am – 3:30pm

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 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 €300. 


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

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


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,
  • Her Honour Judge Petria McDonnell, Circuit Court, Ireland,
  • Tina Bond, deputy district judge on the North East Circuit England and Wales,
  • His Honour Judge Colin Daly, President of the District Court, Ireland,
  • His Honour Judge John O’Connor, Circuit Court, Ireland,
  • Judge Patrick McMahon, retired District Court Judge, Ireland,
  • Geraldine Clarke, Gleeson McGrath Baldwin Solicitors and former President of the Law Society of Ireland,
  • Bob Semple, Consultant,
  • Dr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD,
  • John Kennedy SC,
  • Stephen O’Hare, CEO, HIV 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. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2021 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme  and download the CPD booklet. 

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2021. 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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