The Judicial Studies Committee
The Judicial Council was established in December 2019. It is an independent body whose members are all of the judges in Ireland and its statutory functions include overseeing the continuing education and training of judges, managed by the Judicial Studies Committee.
The Director of Judicial Studies is a High Court Judge who was appointed on the basis that she would dedicate 50% of her time to managing the judicial training function.
The Terms of Reference, adopted by the entire Judicial Council in February 2020 are to
a. identify and continue to update the needs of the judiciary for education and training;
b. develop courses to meet the needs of the judiciary for induction, continuing professional education and development;
c. provide, or assist in the provision of, induction, education and training on matters relevant to the exercise by judges of their functions, including but not limited to:
I. dealing with persons in respect of whom it is alleged an offence has been committed,
II. the conduct of trials by jury in criminal proceedings,
III. the conduct of trials by judges in civil and criminal proceedings,
IV. European Union law and international law,
V. human rights and equality law,
VI. information technology, and
VII. the assessment of damages in respect of personal injuries,
VIII. (d) prepare and distribute relevant materials to judges;
IX. (e) publish material relevant to its functions;
X. (f) promote, explain and protect the core value of judicial independence in judicial
XI. training and education; and
XII. (g) establish, maintain and improve communication with-
(i) bodies representing judges appointed to courts of places other than the State; and
(ii) international bodies representing judges.
The members of the Judicial Studies Committee are taken from each of the five court jurisdictions in Ireland and are:
- Mr Justice John MacMenamin
- Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Chairperson
- Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty, Director of Judicial Studies
- Ms Justice Niamh Hyland
- Her Honour Judge Mary O Malley Costello
- His Honour Judge Paul Kelly, President of the District Court
- Judge Marie Quirke (Vice Chairperson)
The Judicial Studies Committee is funded from the Judicial Council’s overall funding which is provided by the Executive through the Minister for Justice. This includes the salaries of those staff of the Judicial Council who support the functions of the Judicial Studies Committee.
The Council is in the process of developing its premises in Green Street Courthouse to provide a dedicated training venue, equipped with the facilities required to provide a modern and professional judicial training function.