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Refresher training for judicial officers

Aims and objectives

     Members of the District Judiciary must have proper Attitude, Skill and Knowledge to administer Justice. Since the three components are of equal importance, each component is being separately dealt with for imparting training.

1) Attitude -

     Inculcation of the right attitude has fundamental prominence in the justice delivery process. A judge probably would be a better dispenser of justice if he is aware of the currents and passions of the time, the developments of technology and the sweep of events. To judge in the real world, a judge must live, think and partake of opinions in the real world. Interaction with other Social scientists, experts in the new technology etc. are essential for a judicial officer. Imbibing true judicial ethics has seminal importance. A Judicial Officer has to have the right perspective and principled mooring. Courses on stress management, health management etc. would improve the working environment. Training must reflect on the fundamental values of the court system, including fairness, access to justice, and the rule of law keeping pace with the intricate ethical and social issues raised by advances in science and technology.

2) Skill 

    Judicial institutions are increasingly becoming a “career” in which new appointments are being made from among younger, less experienced persons, non-lawyers, those with less traditional legal backgrounds; who have both a need for and hope of continuing professional development. They have lesser understanding of courtroom practises unlike lawyers and therefore managing packed court rooms would be an arduous task for them.
     In an adversarial setting, in a courtroom, lawyers representing opposing parties try to persuade the Judicial Officers. If it fails, they try to dissuade him/her and at times even attempt to prevent him/her from deciding cases. Skill required to manage such a setting is vastly different from managing an ordinary office where there are people who are primarily expected to work at the beckoning of the manager and in which management specialists generally excel. Those who are placed in charge of a court may need to learn management skills appropriate to their task and herein lies the importance as to who should train a new entrant and how.

3) Knowledge :

     Dispensation of justice requires deep knowledge in law, both substantive and procedural. Every judgement reflects the acumen in law of the judge who writes it. Knowledge of precedents in the topic has a vital role in making the judgement legally correct and judicially sound. It is also important that the judicial officers are kept abreast with the development of law in the areas relevant to them. Academy has devised a participative mode of training for imparting knowledge, where doubts raised by officers will be discussed thoroughly and relevant inputs will be given to the officers.

History of refresher training:

District Level Training

     The district level training was the first method of continuing judicial education in the state. It was started  in 1992 to ensure that all judicial officers continue to nurture the requisite attitude, skill and knowledge during their entire career. The district level training was more participative than passive listening. Questions received from the officers were compiled, circulated among the officers and discussed in the training sessions conducted mainly at the district headquarters.  

Regional Training for judicial officers

     In 2014-15 instead of the district level training, regional training was conducted. In the regional training sessions, to make training more participative and to give more opportunities to junior officers, separate training was given to officers in the categories of (i) District Judges, (ii) Sub Judges/CJMs and (iii) Munsiff-Magistrates. It was made compulsory for all judicial officers to send at least one paper on selected topics on law for discussion. The officers were required to speak on the selected topic. From among the papers submitted to the Academy, the Academy selected papers for discussion and also prepared questionnaires on the recent developments in law on a given topic. 
     The Socratic method of question and answer would make judges think; find out solutions regarding legal problems faced by them and in the process they would get acquainted with substantive and procedural law. Importance must be in developing “deep” as opposed to “shallow” learning.
     The district/regional programmes were discontinued at the end of the academic year 2015-2016. 

Refresher courses 

     In addition to the district level programmes, refresher training programmes were also conducted on the following subjects for: 

District Judges

     1. Motor  Accidents Claims and Compensation
     2. Appreciation of Evidence in Sessions Trials
     3. Civil Appeals and Criminal Appeals
     4. Letters of administration and probate OP

Sub Judges

     1. Insolvency Laws
     2. Civil Appeals
     3. Sessions Trials


     1. Interlocutory orders under the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure
     2. Summons, Summary and Warrant Trials
     3. Appreciation of Evidence
     4. Effective Court Management in Civil and Criminal Trials.

Special training

     Further, every year, the academy used to conduct  special training programmes for Principal District Judges and Chief Judicial Magistrates  on  the  evaluation of performance of  judicial officers, writing confidential reports and on disciplinary proceedings, Classification, Control and Appeal Rules.

ASK (Attitude, Skill, Knowledge) programmes 

     After the discontinuance of the district level training, a three-tier programme for developing attitude, skill and knowledge for the judicial officers was evolved. This was conducted in three levels, namely, ASK-P1, ASK-P2 and ASK-P3. 
     ASK-P1 focused on judicial ethics, stress management, health management and fiscal management. 

     ASK-P2 concentrated on the following: -
          i) Learning the art of judging which is unique to judicial work
         ii) ‘Judge craft skills’. This is to provide training and education in the specific legal skills which judges need in the courtroom
        iii) Framing of issues and charges
        iv) Modern case management and caseload management techniques, multi tracking of cases et cetera
         v) Judgment writing
        vi) Appreciation of evidence 
       vii) Managing vulnerable witnesses 
      viii) Providing legal aid to parties who deserve it
        ix) Alternative Dispute Resolution methods
         x) Administration, control, and management of court staff
        xi) Use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) tools in courts
       xii) Communication and interaction skills 
      xiii) Advances in science and technology.
      ASK-P3 was aimed at imparting knowledge on selected topics. 

Current method of training

     Judicial education is continuously evolving and the academy has also devised a new strategy of training to keep pace with the changing needs of the judiciary. Apart from the induction and the orientation training, the academy is conducting several  training programmes for the members of the District judiciary. 
     The current training programmes are mainly categorised as:
          ● Knowledge Enhancement Training (KET) programme
          ● Skill Enhancement Training (SET) programme and
          ● Special training programmes.

    Knowledge Enhancement Training (KET) programmes, which focus on intellectual development of the judicial officers. Training programmes are conducted category wise and the method of training is socratic and the focus of such programmes is on participative learning.

     Skill Enhancement Training (SET) programmes, which focus on imparting specific judicial skills to the judicial officers, through interaction and lectures. 

     Special training programmes, on relevant specialised subjects to the judicial officers and other stakeholders.