Judicial training as change agent

29 Aug 2013

imageJudicial training as change agent. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.
Judicial education and training is a relatively recent phenomenon worldwide. Most of the world's formal judicial education and training programs started in the last fifteen to twenty years -- some with permanent facilities, faculty, staff, and resources -- to train new judges and provide continuing education and training of experienced judges. Such programs can provide invaluable assistance to the judiciary in its essential role of administering justice and resolving disputes. 

‘I have learned many things regarding the application of the mediation mechanism in speedy resolution of cases dispute through direct interaction with the Supreme Court Judges which was very confusing to us earlier. 

Moreover, we have also learned an in-depth overview with regard to international judiciary in reducing backlog of cases’, this is how Mohammad Osman Ghani, Joint District and Session Judge of Rangamati described his experience while attending a two-day long Training of Trainers on ‘Role of Mediation for the better case management in dispensation of quality justice in civil cases’ organized by the Judicial Strengthening Project between 28 and 29 August 2013. A number of 20 Additional and Joint district and session Judges from three pilot districts of JUST comprising Dhaka, Kishoreganj and Rangamti attended the second ToT after the first batch designed for 19 Family Court Judges was held in June this year. 

The major aim of this training course was to develop a pool of trainers from the district level Judges on Mediation and who will then train to the fellow judges, lawyers and other stakeholders. Previously, JUST trained Supreme Court judges to become resources for the current TOT while the participating district court judges will similarly provide training at the district level.

Attending as Chief Guest Mr. Justice Mozzammel Hossain, Hon’ble Chief Justice of Bangladesh said, “From the experience of the judiciaries of USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it is our legitimate expectation that sincerer and creative utilization of civil cases and civil appeals in using mediation technique will ease the case backlogs pressure in our civil courts.”

Terming Judiciary is the pillar of good governance to any country, UNDP Assistant Country Director Ms Won Young Hung said UNDP will always support the improvement of the judicial process.

The JUST Project’s international consultant Livingston Armytage who contributed to the event neatly summarized the goal for judicial education, “The purpose of any program of continuing judicial education is to provide a process to improve judicial performance, and thereby, the quality of justice.”

It is expected that the TOT training will enable the trainee judges to find out innovative ways and means to ensure optimum utilization of mediation and best case management technique for delivering speedy justice in civil cases.