Aims | Stage 1
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- to promote and where appropriate, provide judicial education programmes for judicial officers
in all parts of the Commonwealth;
- to establish and maintain a network of judicial officers from all parts of the Commonwealth
to assist in the planning, promotion and delivery of judicial education programmes;
- to provide judicial and administrative advice and support to existing judicial education
- to assist in the establishment and subsequent development of codes of conduct;
- to publicise developments in the common law in all countries of the Commonwealth.
A menu of skeleton judicial education programmes, aimed primarily at judicial
officers who exercise limited jurisdiction.
Those interested (who may be member states, judges, magistrates associations, judicial
education institutes or aid donors) select which programmes on the menu are of interest.
A locally based course director from the host country is appointed and, in partnership
with the CMJA Director of Studies and any relevant funding organisation, the programmes selected
from the menu are adapted to meet local needs and circumstances.
A team of educators, both judicial and academic, and wherever possible from the
same region, is selected to run the programme. Materials are prepared, if necessary with translations.
A core team of judicial officers is selected to participate in the agree programme
and the training takes place. The format for the training will be centred in discussion groups of
practical examples of the issues raised in the programme.
Senior members of local judiciaries will be encouraged to assist with brief lectures
on the relevant subject.
The local core team of jusicial officers go on to lead or assist in similar programmes
for colleagues in their own areas, with back up support from the CMJA if required.
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"Delphic words written on opaque surfaces"
Identification of the relevant code of human rights - the application of local
codes - the application of external codes to local circumstances- areas of conflict - the measurement
of policy against abstract rights - human rights and economic inequality - the consideration of
"Let judgement run as the clear waters and righteousness as a mighty stream"
The general ethical pressures on judicial officers - the specific pressures experienced
in the host jurisdiction - the response to the pressures - institutional and individual independence
- the different issues of inquisitorial and accusatorial processes- the effect of a judicial officer's
own prejudices on the interpretation of evidence and application of the law - the identification
The Function of the Judicial Officer and the Process of Judging
"The Judge's task is to decide cases in court between different litigants, no more, no
Public and private hearings - the hearing and assessment of evidence - the use
of experts - the use of interpreters - access to the law - application of the law - litigants in
person - the provision of experienced advocates - the marshalling of fact and law - the preparation,
recording and giving of judgement- appeals - promotion of mediation - the judicial officer's relationship
with the administration - the position of professional judicial bodies - the appointment, pay and
promotion of judges
Global developments in the Law
"The golden met - wand and measure"
The applicability of the common law and other systems of law (e.g.: customary or
religious laws) in the host jurisdiction - the effect of codifications - recent decisions in appellate
courts in different jurisdictions - contrasts in the development of the law in the host country
Approaches to the Handling of Family Law
"Wherever there are enclosing walls there are abuses behind them"
Institutional support of the family - the legal position of the child - the protection
of children - the judge as mediator in family disputes - dealing with the evidence of children -
the position of the man and the woman before the law - dealing with domestic violence - the relationship
of the state agencies and the family court.
"Lawful and settled authority is seldom resisted when it is well employed"
Relationship with other aspects of government administration - Budget management-
the provision of staff - the management of lists - the drawing of orders - appeal structures.
Handling of criminal trials
"The people should fight for their law as for their city walls"
Procedure - the judicial officer sitting alone - the management and direction of
jury trials - the burden of proof - representation of the accused - the court's relationship with
advocates - principles of sentencing - the application of minimum sentences - the nature of judicial
discretion - the application of local sentencing options - victim compensation - the comparison
of penal systems - alternatives to custody - the treatment of young offenders.
Codes of Ethics and Conduct
At the Joint Colloquium on "Parliamentary Supremacy and the Independence
of the Judiciary" held at Latimer House in June 1998 the participants set out guidelines "on
good practice governing relations between the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary in the promotion
of good governance, the rule of law and human rights to ensure the effective implementation of the
Harare Principles" .
These guidelines state [s.v(1)(a)] that "A Code of Ethics and Conduct should be developed by
each judiciary as a means of ensuring the accountability of judges"
The CMJA is a repository for such Codes where they have been adopted in different
The final judicial education programme will be designed to assist members in the
development and regular review of Codes appropriate to their particular circumstances, balanced
by institutional independence in accordance with the Harare Principles.
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