About Us

Leading judicial education for an Australian judiciary

The National Judicial College of Australia (the NJCA) is an independent, not-for-profit entity, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. Since its inception in 2002, the NJCA has designed, developed and delivered judicial education and training programs for Australian judicial officers across all court hierarchies and jurisdictions.

Our programs are comprehensive, consistent, systematic, and of the highest quality. Central to our program design and evaluation process is the implementation of judicial education and training that is dynamic, able to respond to a uniquely changing and increasingly diverse Australian society and to developments in judicial responsibilities. We constantly map contemporary judicial learning outcomes alongside the development of programs that focus on nationally consistent training to harness the confluence of interests of an integrated Australian judiciary.

Through our delivery of a wide ranging suite of programs, the NJCA strives to foster and encourage powerful and transformative jurisdictional, cross-jurisdictional and trans-jurisdictional discourse, critical to the furtherance of public confidence in an Australian judiciary that understands the people that come before it.

A Brief History of the National Judicial College of Australia

During the 1990’s, calls were made for the establishment of a body to provide judicial education for the whole of the Australian judiciary. The establishment of such a body was supported by, among others, Sir Anthony Mason, a former Chief Justice of the High Court and by the then Chief Justice, Chief Justice Gleeson, as well as by the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.

Supporting the Quest for Judicial Excellence

Judicial education is essential to the effective administration of justice and in turn, the preservation of public confidence in our courts. Judicial education supports judicial independence, fosters discourse, strengthens the operation of the judicial function, judicial reasoning, decision making and judgment writing.

Contemporary Program Design, Development and Delivery

NJCA judicial education and training programs are judge-led, reflect contemporary adult learning principles, are judicial officer centric in design and carry an experiential learning philosophy.  Our programs provide participants with an appropriate balance of knowledge and understanding, alongside practical judge-craft skills, achieved through structured, small group discussion and hands-on practical exercises relevant to the program rationale and judicial learning outcomes. 

The NJCA, as part of its overarching program development, published Attaining Judicial Excellence: A Guide for the NJCA in 2019 as a resource to support its strategic planning and to assist in designing professional development programs for Australian judicial officers. In developing the elements, the NJCA consulted with 80 judicial officers from around Australia and from different jurisdictions. These elements describe the knowledge, skills and qualities of judicial officers, which those consulted, consider to be facilitative of judicial excellence. A copy of the guide is available under our resources.