National Institute of Magistracy
Established in 1992 in order to meet the needs of shaping a professional body of highly qualified magistrates – judges and prosecutors, National Institute of Magistracy (NIM) is a public autonomous institution providing initial training to future judges and prosecutors, continuous training to appointed judges and prosecutors, as well as training sessions to trainers. It is coordinated by the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM), the independent body governing the judicial system and constitutionally guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary.
NIM is run by a Director, two Deputy Directors, who are legal professionals, an Executive Manager and a Scientific Board composed of 13 members, who are representatives of:
- The High Court of Cassation and Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office attached to it;
- The Bucharest Court of Appeal and the Prosecutor’s Office attached to it;
- The most representative law schools;
- The NIM training staff;
- The judicial trainees; and,
- The professional associations of judges and prosecutors.
The Scientific Board decides upon all matters regarding the organization and the functioning of the NIM. The Director and the two Deputy Directors coordinate the activities of the Institute.
NIM is located in the country capital, Bucharest.
There are two ways of joining the ranks of magistracy in Romania – the admission to NIM examination and the admission examination targeted at law school graduates having at least 5 years seniority in the practice of law. The selection process is based on the professional competence and good reputation and it is carried out through a competition.
Successful candidates of the admission to NIM examination become judicial trainees and they follow the initial training programme for two years. In 2014 – 2015 there are 160 judicial trainees in the first year and 200 in the second year. During the first year, judicial trainees attend various seminars, conferences and extra-curricular activities at NIM. The activity during the second year of training is mainly organized within first instance courts and prosecutor’s offices attached to these courts, under the guidance of the internship coordinators, who are judges and prosecutors, part of NIM’ s training personnel.
Initial training is mainly concerned with the acquisition of skills. The study of law is mainly practical, preparing future judges and prosecutors for an effective and responsible future participation in their profession.
The assessment of the knowledge and skills acquired over the two years of initial training consists both of formative and final assessments.
Judicial trainees opt for their future profession – judge/prosecutor – at the end of the first year of training. After the initial training period the NIM graduation exam confers them the status of junior judges and prosecutors for one year at the end of which they are being assessed again – the capacity exam – and they become in-service judges and prosecutors.
Judges and prosecutors participate at least once every three years in continuous training programmes organized by NIM and other higher education institutions from Romania or from abroad, or at other various forms of educational improvement. There are 6.822 judges and prosecutors in Romania.
NIM organises continuous training courses according to a yearly schedule. Continuous training of judges and prosecutors is delivered by taking into consideration the needs of their field of specialization. NIM provides continuous training both at centralized and decentralized levels. Decentralized training targets common mandatory training areas as well as optional training areas. It has known a significant growth since its inception in 2006 and it represents an important vocational training system which is complementary to the one at centralized level.
NIM organizes each year, on average bases, 240 sessions of continuous training at centralized level, including up to 5.000 magistrates (4.822 in 2014.) and 100 sessions of continuous training at decentralized level, including up to 2.500 magistrates. It also promotes alternate methods of continuous training for magistrates through on-line courses, registering a maximum of 4.600 of simultaneous users and a high number of visitors of the official NIM’ s website hosting them (between 17.000 – 32.000 per day.)
Training of trainers
The training staff of NIM is mainly selected from the judiciary, approximately 80% of them being judges and prosecutors. NIM also involves as trainers experts from outside the judiciary area like psychologists, sociologists and social assistants, accountants, forensics, communication, information technology and foreign languages experts.
The training staff provides initial, continuous and training of trainers expertise in compliance with the established syllabi and it is composed of full-time trainers, part-time trainers and coordinators of internships. The recruitment is made by means of public examinations, under the terms of the Statute of the NIM training staff, according to the principle of transparency and taking into consideration their professional and training experience.
The train-the-trainers process targets newly recruited, trainers/coordinators of internships who express their wish to attend such programme and the ones for whom the NIM’s Scientific Board recommends the attendance.
Trainers are annually assessed based on specific methodologies adapted for each type of training. The annual assessment of trainers and coordinators of internships is conducted based on the procedures and the criteria set up by the Statute of the NIM training staff.
NIM organizes on behalf of the SCM all examinations related to the activities of the judiciary, as follows:
- Examinations for admission to magistracy:
- admission to NIM;
- admission to magistracy targeted at law school graduates having at least 5 years seniority in the practice of law;
- Capacity examinations for junior judges and prosecutors;
- Promotions to superior courts and prosecutor’s offices;
- Promotions to the High Court of Cassation and Justice;
- Appointments to management of court or prosecutor’s office positions.
NIM also organizes the graduation examination for judicial trainees.
Based on the SCM policy on human resources and on its annual calendar of these activities, NIM organizes up to 10 such examinations each year.
NIM is a member of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) since 2007, being at the same time a member of the EJTN Steering Committee and a member of the working groups Exchange Programme, Programmes and Technology. It also coordinates the sub-group for Administrative Law of EJTN.
NIM is very active in the EJTN’ s Exchange Programme for judicial authorities and in all the other activities of the EJTN: the Catalogue and the Catalogue +, all the training sessions organized by the working group Programmes within civil, criminal, linguistic matters, administrative law, training the trainers.
NIM is also a founding member of the Euro-Arab Judicial Training Network (EAJTN).
NIM acts as a steady partner of many other schools and institutions responsible with the training of judges and prosecutors.
National Institute of Magistracy
53 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. sector 5, Bucharest
Tel.: +40 21 310 21 10
Fax.: +40 21 311 02 34