Nine principles of judicial training

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

  • EJTN’s nine judicial training principles adopted at EJTN’s recently held 2016 General Assembly.
  • The principles provide a common foundation and framework for Europe’s judiciary and judicial training institutions alike.

At EJTN’s recently held 2016 General Assembly, a landmark motion was presented and adopted. The General Assembly unanimously approved EJTN’s proposed nine judicial training principles.

The principles establish key statements relating to the nature of judicial training, the importance of initial training, the right to regular continuous training and the integral nature of training in daily work. The principles also address the dominion of national training institutions regarding the content and delivery of training, clarify who should deliver training and stress the need for modern training techniques as well as express the need for funding and support commitments from authorities.

Moving the initiative forward
The judicial training principles were developed within EJTN’s Steering Committee, which agreed in principle at its November 2015 meeting to draft a European statement relating to the core principles of judicial training. A process of moving the initiative forward was created and EJTN was named as the key actor in this process.

The initiative itself complemented the aims of the EJTN Strategic Plan 2014-2020, which stress the need for a more effective external cooperation and for backing judicial independence in order to reinforce the primacy of the role of EJTN in all areas of judicial training at the EU level.

The guiding notion of constructing these training principles was based on the need to have a simple statement on the basic requirements of induction and continuous training for all EU judges, prosecutors and trainers.

A foundation and framework
The adopted statement would be used by Europe’s judiciary as a foundation and source of inspiration in managing their own judicial training needs. With these judicial training principles, Europe’s judicial training institutions also would have a common framework within which to plan and deliver their judicial training activities.

Through initiatives such as these judicial training principles, EJTN is proudly helping to improve judicial training across Europe and promote its added value.

The nine judicial training principles:

  1. Judicial training is a multidisciplinary and practical type of training, essentially intended for the transmission of professional techniques and values complementary to legal education.
  2. All judges and prosecutors should receive initial training before or on their appointment.
  3. All judges and prosecutors should have the right to regular continuous training after appointment and throughout their careers and it is their responsibility to undertake it. Every Member State should put in place systems that ensure judges and prosecutors are able to exercise this right and responsibility.
  4. Training is part of the normal working life of a judge and a prosecutor. All judges and prosecutors should have time to undertake training as part of the normal working time, unless it exceptionally jeopardises the service of justice.
  5. In accordance with the principles of judicial independence the design, content and delivery of judicial training are exclusively for national institutions responsible for judicial training to determine.
  6. Training should primarily be delivered by judges and prosecutors who have been previously trained for this purpose.
  7. Active and modern educational techniques should be given primacy in judicial training.
  8. Member States should provide national institutions responsible for judicial training with sufficient funding and other resources to achieve their aims and objectives.
  9. The highest judicial authorities should support judicial training.

The nine judicial training principles (pdf; 276 KB)