A National Curriculum for Australian Judicial Officers

Unit 1: Aim of this Unit

Aim of this Unit

Professional development activities should help judicial officers:

 

  • to identify common problems that raise questions as to the appropriate standard of conduct or any ethical concerns
  • by providing information about resources available to assist them in resolving such questions
  • to consider and apply the relevant principles
  • by providing guidelines in regard to judicial conduct and ethical problems which arise in and outside the courtroom

Application of the Core Dimensions

D1

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D2

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D3

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D4

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Each unit will require different weight to be given to each of the Core Dimensions depending on the nature of the unit, and this should be reflected in any rationale and learning outcomes of a program developed under this unit.

Programs

Program 1.1

1.1 - Judicial Independence & The Role of The Judicial Officer

Aim

These programs provide judicial officers with the opportunity to consider broad issues relevant to their judicial independence in the context of the judicial system including its independence.

Scope

These programs could encompass:

  • A consideration of the literature and official statements in regard to the role of the judiciary and of the individual judicial officer
  • The effect of judicial independence on the relationship between heads of jurisdiction and judicial officers
  • Boundaries between administrative issues and an independent judiciary
  • Handling of complaints against judicial officers
  • Issues about the extent to which, and how, judicial officers should take some responsibility for having some of the problems they see before them fixed, eg. in legislation, administration or the outcomes for the people who appear before them
Program 1.2

1.2 - Judicial Conduct & Ethical Issues

Aim

These programs provide judicial officers with opportunities to consider the applicability to their own work of practical issues which can arise in regard to judicial conduct and ethics.

Scope

These programs could encompass:

 

  • Criticism of trial counsel
  • Dealing with difficult colleagues
  • Self-represented litigants
  • Avoiding possible conflicts of interest
  • The duty to sit and determine cases
  • Conduct in court
  • Conduct out of court
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Ostensible bias
  • Disqualification
  • Dealing with the media
  • Provision of references
  • Speech invitations
  • Invitations to practitioners’ or law firms’ social functions
  • The impact of judicial conduct on others.

The Judicial Role

The focus of these programs is the role of judicial officers to apply appropriate standards of judicial conduct in their work.

Program 1.3

1.3 - Judicial Impartiality & Understanding The Impact of Implicit Bias on Process of Judging

Aim

TEXT

Scope

TEXT

Program 1.4

1.4 - The Judicial Function & The Government

Aim

Professional development activities should provide judicial officers with the opportunity to consider developments in knowledge and in public policy which affect the courts and the judiciary. These programs provide judicial officers with information about, and an opportunity to discuss, issues of public policy which impact on the law.

Scope

These programs could encompass a wide range of topics, including:

 

  • Dealings with agencies of the executive government
  • Dealings with industry and community groups
  • Human rights
  • The policy making process including the legislative process
  • The debate in regard to judicial activism – including issues related to the role of courts in society, judicial method, how judicial officers should respond to public criticism, and the materials available to judicial officers on which to base their decisions.

The Judicial Role

The focus of these programs is the judicial role of keeping abreast of developments in public policy which impact on the law and the work of the courts.

Program 1.5

1.5 - Critical Reflection on Race, Religion & Unconscious Bias (Social & Cultural Bias)

Aim

TEXT

Scope

TEXT

Program 1.6

1.6 - Therapeutic Jurisprudence Principles

Aim

These programs provide judicial officers with an opportunity to consider the relevance of the theory and practice of therapeutic jurisprudence to their work.

Scope

These programs could encompass:

 

  • Therapeutic jurisprudence in specialist courts
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence and the judicial role of managing
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence and the judicial role of decision making
  • Criminal cases
  • Civil cases
  • Family law cases

The Judicial Role

The focus of these programs is the role of judicial officers, the impact of their actions on those involved in the court process and judging techniques through which judicial officers can promote greater respect for and confidence in the justice system.

Note

This topic may not always be a program in its own right but may be part of a program on sentencing.

Program 1.7

1.7 - Judicial Safeguards for Preventing Wrongful Convictions

Aim

TEXT