13. Judicial Training & Education
- Status, Needs, Organization & Strategies
JUDICIAL TRAINING AS JUDGES PERCEIVE IT
Towards a Wider Consultation :
13.7.1 The best persons to identify the training needs and to suggest the nature and scope of training programmes necessary are the judges themselves. Having seen the strengths and weaknesses of the system and having experienced the changing demands of office, judges can discern the gaps and inadequacies in existing systems of judicial education and possibly suggest changes for equipping them better. There may however be serious doubts on whether the prevalent systems of training and re-training even with some modifications can deliver the skills and competence required. In any case, for peaceful continuity and effective management of change, it is advisable to ascertain the perceptions of judges and involve them in planning the programmes of judicial education and training. This report therefore attaches great importance to the consultative method adopted in preparing this chapter.
13.7.2 It is necessary to explain briefly the
method employed in assembling the views and comments of judges on the subject.
Initially the consultant had few rounds of general discussion on the state of
trial judiciary and the prospects of reform through judicial education and
training. Several sitting and retired judges of both the trial and appellate
judiciary shared their deep insights which gave a broad idea of the issues and
perspectives for inquiry. Secondly, a survey of the reports of Law Commission,
literature on judicial training elsewhere and documentation on training in some
of the States in Indian Union provided information on various dimensions of a
meaningful training programme. Thirdly, on the basis of the documents and expert
comments received, a memorandum detailing the impressions and proposals was
prepared. A questionnaire consisting of nearly 100 questions covering issues on
concepts, strategies, organization, scope, trainers, curriculum, methods,
materials and evaluation got prepared to accompany the memorandum for eliciting
views of judges from all over the country. Nearly 200 judges, senior advocates
and judicial organizations were selected to make a representative sample of the
judicial establishment of each and every State in the country. The Chairman of
the Judicial Pay Commission himself forwarded the Questionnaire and Memorandum
with a covering letter impressing upon the respondents the importance of the
exercise and seeking their individual and collective responses. Several
respondents joined together and sent their considered views collectively on
behalf of judicial associations, High Courts, training institutions etc. Over
fifty questionnaires were duly returned which included several institutional and
collective responses. What is contained in this chapter is an analytical summary
gathered from these responses and reactions of the judicial fraternity of
A copy each of the Memorandum and the Questionnaire sent round for the survey are appended to this chapter of the report as Annexure I and Annexure II respectively.
13.7.3 It was the considered view of the Commission and the Consultant that this participatory exercise should be taken further into a consultative meeting of the judges and trainers who are interested and involved in judicial education and training. In pursuance of this, the draft report on the responses to the questionnaire along with the recommendations from the Consultant were placed before the consultative meeting of experts convened by the Commission in Bangalore on 12-13 December 1998. The idea was not only to seek critical feedback on the findings and recommendations before issues are finalised in the report, but also to establish as wide a consensus as possible amongst High Courts and judicial training institutions and judges' associations on the scheme proposed so that immediate, co-ordinated implementation is possible if the authorities so decide.
What follows is a faithful summary of the perceptions and comments of over a hundred sitting and retired judges on the questions relating to the nature, scope and method of judicial education and training. For clarity of analysis they are presented in six segments as they were asked in the questionnaire. The list of persons/institutions who have filed their responses is given in Annexure III to the report.
13.7.4 REPORT ON ANALYSIS OF RESPONSES TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
I. CONCEPTS AND APPROACHES
(1) Goals of Judicial training
The goals of judicial training are :
(i) to inculcate self-confidence, loyalty and a judicial work culture;
(ii) to imbibe judicial ethics and standards of judicial conduct;
(iii) to sensitize them to the values and ethics of the Constitution;
(iv) to help improve performance in delivery of justice and in judicial administration;
(v) to enable updating of legal knowledge and to sensitize them on changing demands of the system;
(vi) to familiarise on the forces operating at the social, economic, political and administrative environment in which judges work;
(vii) to enhance their sense of idealism, humanism and social justice;
(viii) to develop analytical and communication skills and research and writing skills necessary for the job;
(ix) to impart skills of management of men and materials including computer technology, case flow and accounting techniques;
(x) to sensitize on gender issues, juvenile problems and social responsibilities;
(xi) to influence personality development on the lines of hard work, honesty, impartiality, public service, judicial dignity and respect for human rights;
(xii) to enhance capabilities in dealing with emerging, complicated areas of science and technology involved in litigation.
Note : The goals are different from objects which are specific to a particular programme or module of training. Goals are general and expected outcomes ultimately; whereas objects are to be achieved immediately at the end of a particular course. Goals lead to objects identification in particular training exercises.
Structuring the objects in a pointed, achievable manner is the task of a course co-ordinator who uses materials and methods selectively to achieve that purpose. Several such courses may together achieve the goals over a period of time.
Greater the clarity in goals and specificity in objects, the higher the chances of training succeeding in influencing behaviour of trainees.
(2) Difference between Education and Training
(a) Education is knowledge of theory and Training is about application of knowledge or learning of skills and techniques;
(b) Goals of the two are the same; objects are different - the object of education is enhancing knowledge level, whereas object of training is efficient discharge of duties;
(c) Judicial training requires "hands on", "on-the-job" learning; judicial education can be class-room based or through self-study;
(d) Judicial education is more foundational and orientational in content and concerns; it is built around precepts, knowledge, principles and theories to cover gaps and inadequacies in previous learning. Training is built on education and structured according to tasks;
(e) Judicial education is broader in concept and can include judicial training as well; the two are distinguishable on the basis of methodologies employed to impart learning;
(f) Education is overall knowledge; training is focussed, specialised and result-oriented;
(g) Education is a continuing process and is life-long; training is accomplished on basis of job requirements and performance goals;
(h) Training consumes more resources and requires constant refinement of aims and methods.
Note : The purpose of seeking the distinction between the two, is to give clear signals to the trainers on identification of objects, allocation of resources and employment of appropriate methodologies in different types of judicial training programmes. Even in the selection of the Faculty for the course, the relative weightage to be given to education and training should be known. Furthermore, it is easier to evaluate the impact if the educational objects are distinguished from the training objects.
(3) Existing Sources of Training
(i) State judicial academies or training directorates operated by the High Courts;
(ii) Partly from induction training course and mostly from experience;
(iii) Judges in many States do not have any opportunity for organized institutional training; they learn day-to-day tasks through attachment with senior and experienced judges for 3 to 6 months after initial recruitment; this is found to be too inadequate for independent and efficient functioning;
(iv) Some legal workshops and seminars periodically organized give some useful learning to judicial officers;
(v) College education, library, media and law reports do contribute to judicial learning;
(vi) In-service training is relatively unknown in most States and the High Courts do not seem to be keen on it;
(vii) Judges are left to fend for themselves and learn through trial and error and possibly from the profession practising before them;
(viii) Previous practice at the Bar is another source of education and training in judging too.
Note : It is refreshing to find that judges do realise the importance of training as they experienced difficulties in judging in the absence of proper training. The judicial authorities, however, do not seem to realise the extent of low productivity, miscarriage of justice and avoidable appeals and revisions preferred in the system. In the absence of research data, such issues are neither raised nor responded adequately. Good training schemes alone will demonstrate what training can achieve in the cause of justice.
(4) Inadequacies in Existing Training :
(a) Most States have no training scheme nor training institutions;
(b) No proper continuing education programme at State or national level;
(c) People are sent for training at the fag end of their service;
(d) Because of shortage of judges, training periods are reduced or training avoided altogether;
(e) The available schemes are neither scientifically organized nor based on experience;
(f) All judicial officers are unlikely to benefit from uniform training; therefore it must be selective and need-based;
(g) Most schemes are totally inadequate to enhance judicial capabilities and much less on judicial skills;
(h) Most schemes have no written test or examination to assess the impact of training;
(i) Schemes are ad hoc exercises with no thrust on specialisation and not linked to specific needs of the work assigned;
(j) Training is not participatory and no inter-active learning procedures adopted;
(k) Organization does not give priority or weightage to participation in training;
(l) The curriculum is not scientifically evolved nor is it periodically revised;
(m) Because of resource constraints, funds are not allocated for judicial training;
(n) There is no training on change of jobs or on promotion;
(o) There is no proper infra-structure for judicial training;
(p) Training not taken seriously either by the trainers or by the trainees;
(q) There is total absence of competent trainers who are skilled on the job;
(r) Some of the programmes are too localised and are not standardized to serve larger goals;
(s) Objects of specific training programmes are not clearly formulated or communicated;
(t) Rhetorical lectures and exaggerated sermons from the so-called visiting dignitaries do not inspire learning;
(u) Properly supervised attachment with efficient judicial personnel can train a great deal; but it is rarely done as the senior has neither time nor motivation;
(v) Lack of trained permanent core teaching facility in training establishments is a serious handicap;
(w) Poor performance at training has no effect on career;
(x) Training in appreciation of scientific evidence and in innovative approaches in judging is non-existent or superficial;
(y) Above all, independent, well meaning initiatives by subordinate judges are looked down upon and are not encouraged.
Note : A surprisingly large number of adverse comments have been given by the judges on existing programmes. As such, the existing schemes need to be radically changed if the resources spent has to give returns.
(5) Need for In-Service Training
All the respondents were emphatic on the need for continued training to officers in service. Induction training has certain limited objects with a view to guide the new comers in the new office. There is need for periodical training to every judicial officer at all levels upto Additional District Judge. After every promotion a training programme has to be provided.
Thus, every judge is of the view that like induction training, continued in-service training is essential and is to be provided at every promotion and at periodic intervals.
(6) What are the objects of in-service training ?
In contra-distinction to induction training, the following specific objects were suggested for the different types of continuing education and training :
(i) Updating knowledge of law and practice in selected areas;
(ii) Improving skills of court and time management;
(iii) Induction of new ideas and experiences to tackle changing tasks;
(iv) Improving work culture and developing judicial balance to problems;
(v) Sorting out angularities and prejudices;
(vi) Preparing for higher judicial responsibilities;
(vii) Identifying weaknesses and correcting them;
(viii) Sharing experiences among the judicial fraternity;
(ix) Increasing efficiency and accountability;
(x) Understanding the nature and scope of new jurisdictions and powers;
(xi) Testing the abilities and skills in comparative situations;
(xii) Learning the management of stress and crisis situations;
(xiii) Interact with leaders of other professions who have insights to contribute on role of judiciary in responsible governance;
(xiv) Think collectively on maladies like delay, access, cost, difficulties of litigants, bar-bench relations etc.;
(xv) Strategies for improving working conditions and increasing productivity of judges.
(7) Poor Quality LL.B. Education : Can Induction Training Correct it ?
Responses were mixed to the issue raised in the question and there was doubt about the capacity of initial training filling the gaps in earlier legal education. Majority favoured strict and rigid standards in the selection itself so that those who do not have adequate knowledge do not get recruited to the judiciary. In any case even the best of law colleges, they argued, cannot give the type of training required for judiciary. Several subjects, particularly procedural subjects, do not receive adequate attention in Law Colleges.
The assumption with which training course is planned is that every person recruited has adequate competence expected of an advocate with few years practice at the Bar. This is questionable and the reason why induction training is contributing little today is the extremely poor quality of legal knowledge of some candidates who are being recruited to the judiciary.
(8) How does the recruitment process ensure minimum Competence?
Selection process is not likely to guarantee competence in all candidates selected, though most of them may possess basic knowledge and skills.
Pre-selection training is not practical as candidates may not take it seriously unless they are assured of selection. Furthermore, financing pre-selection training is a problem. As such, Judiciary may have to compromise and select candidates knowingly that their education is inadequate and equipment is poor.
Recruitment at best can act as a screening of available material. Written examinations and personal interviews can assess the knowledge level to some extent. Perhaps a two stage examination scheme as prescribed for central services can increase possibilities of identifying the really deserving candidates. This may not necessarily help in excluding undeserving candidates, given the uncertainties of the processes and the reservation politics inevitably involved in them.
Given the wide variation in the quality of legal education imparted in colleges within the State and among the States, adherence to rigid standards may result in injustice to certain sections of society. Filling of reserved seats in subordinate judiciary will be a near impossible task if high levels of knowledge and skills are insisted in selection examination.
If Bar Councils or the
Alternatively weaknesses of individual trainees have to be addressed separately by the training academies through special schemes which may necessitate greater time, attention and resources for their training.
(9) Is Training to be concerned mainly with Skills ?
Largely that is the object; but it has to have a knowledge base and has to be enriched with changes in attitudes and values. It must enable trainees to foster self-development and make self-evaluation.
(10) How Training can cater to the demands of the brighter and the needs of the weaker candidates simultaneously?
The conventional law subjects are not to be taught in the judicial training course. They should be left for self-study.
Weaker candidates may be given instruction through remedial programmes outside the normal training course. Also brighter trainees may be asked to give guidance to their colleagues who are unable to follow the courses.
Extra-training for weaker candidates outside the normal period of training may cause psychological problems in them. The best strategy is not to select candidates for judicial jobs if they do not possess expected levels of learning.
(11) Language Training
It is the unanimous view of all respondents that English should be the medium of training. Some would like Hindi also to be made compulsory and regional language a desirable third language in judicial training. However, regional language should not be the medium of instruction as it will affect judicial standards throughout the country and will be unfair to the concept of equal justice under law. Legal literature of good quality is also available at present only in English. Judicial excellence in the present circumstances requires the use of English in judicial work.
(12) Motivating the Trainees to take Training Seriously:
Everything needs to be done to make the trainees take the programme seriously and internalise the learning for better judicial performance. This may require policy changes and administrative arrangements conducive to hard work. Several suggestions emerged from the responses. These include :
(a) Successful completion of training to be a part of the probation requirement and the services of those who have totally failed to imbibe the minimum learning during training should be terminated forthwith rather than allowed to continue at great risk to the efficiency of administration of justice.
(b) Performance at training to be a relevant consideration for determining eligibility for promotions and career advancement of all judicial officers.
(c) The importance of training and expectations from trainees be communicated clearly and rules be framed to announce the priority judiciary attaches to training.
(d) Examinations be conducted at training centres and performance of trainees be graded as "excellent", "very good", "good", "satisfactory" and "poor". Those who are declared "poor" shall not be confirmed in the cadre to which they are recruited and they may be subjected to denial of increments as long as they do not secure at least a "satisfactory" grade.
(e) Enhance the quality and content of training programmes by adopting varied teaching aids and methodologies.
(f) Recognise meritorious performance in training through awards, recommendations and preferential promotion opportunities.
(g) Give service advantages to meritorious officers including study leave, library grants, empannelment for special assignments etc.
(h) Peer group pressures can promote motivation.
(i) Research, project work and participatory exercises to be encouraged in training. It should be a process of "learning by doing" rather than "learning by listening".
(j) Exposure to the experiences of judiciaries in other countries will be useful at higher levels of judicial service.
(k) In extreme cases of non-performance even after training, reversion to lower cadres can be considered.
(l) Annual appraisal report should be linked with training goals and achievements.
(m) Compensatory allowances can motivate in select situations.
(n) Periodical examination through written tests and group discussions can enable the learner to understand deficiencies and acquire capabilities by the time final assessment is made at the end of training.
(o) Judicial academies should be run on lines of military or police academies for inculcating discipline and seriousness.
Note : Motivation is the key for achievement. Admittedly, the trainees in judicial academies even at the induction stage lack motivation. It is imperative for the judicial establishment to consider how the motivational level of trainees could be increased by altering rules of employment and making training attractive and instructive. Adult learning processes are varied and the training schemes will have to address the issues scientifically if judicial behaviour is to be influenced in desired directions.
(13) Nature of Examination in Training :
(i) Examination to be held in each subject of training course.
(ii) It should be a mixture of open book, problem-type, project work, group discussion and paper presentation exercises.
(iii) Some have doubted the desirability of university-type examinations though they wanted evaluation made by other methods.
(14) Consequence of Unsatisfactory Performance in Training :
(a) Several steps suggested earlier on the question of motivating judges to take training seriously would apply here.
(b) Entry in service records after giving opportunity for correction may be resorted to.
(c) Repeating the training course should be insisted upon and probation period continued.
(d) Repeat training, though rigorous, should be helpful to the officer to learn at his pace rather than tending to be punitive and self-defeating.
(e) Some responses do suggest amendment of recruitment rules to the effect that unsatisfactory performance at training will entail discharge from service or placement at a lower grade than the one recruited for.
(15) Ensuring fairness and objectivity in training evaluation :
(i) Making an officer of the level of High Court Judge in charge of the assessment system.
(ii) Entrusting examination to a panel of examiners or committee of judges.
(iii) Review by an appellate authority in cases of complaint according to transparent procedures and acceptable criteria.
(iv) Providing a re-check/re-valuation procedure.
(v) Display of periodic test results and opportunity to understand causes of non-attainment of higher grades.
(vi) Evaluation partly or fully by agencies outside the training institute.
Note : It is important that when performance at training is given serious repercussions on career advancement, the process of evaluation is fair, objective and transparent. There are examination techniques now available to eliminate bias and too much of subjectivity in assessment procedures. They need to be adopted according to requirements in the Academies.
Additional Comments :
In respect of the first set of questions on "concepts and approaches" analyzed above, there has been few additional comments offered by some respondents. These are summarised below :
(i) Unlike the civil services examinations, the candidates for judicial service are much more mature persons as they have spent some time in legal practice and are in the age group of 27 or above. The training scheme should take this into account and conduct the training little differently.
(ii) Undue emphasis should not be placed on English language skills as what is required is ability to understand communications in English and not the power of expression in that language. In fact power of expression is more required in the language of the region which may also be allowed to be developed.
(iii) The best legal luminary or a competent judge may not necessarily be a good trainer. As such careful selection and training of the trainers is a pre-requisite for success of training programmes.
(iv) While training in traditions and practices in judiciary are necessary, it should aim to give a futuristic orientation so that the trainees could respond to changes responsibly as and when they occur. Training tends to reinforce existing values and practices sometimes to the detriment of efficiency and responsiveness.
(v) The induction-type training course must be conceived at three stages and should be linked appropriately in contents and concerns. The first stage is soon after the initial recruitment to the judiciary as Munsiff/Magistrate. The second stage is at the time of promotion as a civil judge and the third is when the officer is promoted to the cadre of District Judge.
ORGANIZATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
(1) The Case for a National Judicial Academy and Four Regional Academies :
An overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) are in favour of a National and four Regional Judicial Academies apart from Training Directorates under each State High Court. Some believe that regional academies are unnecessary and State level training institutions can perform the tasks if the National Academy can help standardize the programmes and provide supporting services. Of course, smaller High Courts can join neighbouring States and have joint training establishments.
Those who support Regional Academies are in favour of establishing them in Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), Andhra Pradesh (Secunderabad), Assam (Gauhati) with the National Academy located in Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal). It may be re-called these are places in which infra-structural facilities already exist, though in a modest scale, and where some training programmes are periodically organized for judicial officers.
There is an opinion advanced that the relationship between the National/Regional and State academies should not be that of a Principal-Satellite (subordinate) type, but co-equal institutions with differing functions. The National institution may be better placed to provide training ideas, propose new training schemes, assemble appropriate reading materials and self-study kits, run training the trainer courses and help standardisation and co-ordination.
(2) Structure of the National/Regional Academies :
The dominant opinion is that the National/Regional Academies should be directly under the supervision of the Supreme Court. There should be a Governing Board in which besides representation from Supreme Court, High Courts, Central and State Governments and Bar Councils, there should be some independent experts/academicians nominated.
While a Senior Supreme Court Judge can be Chairman of the national academy, the senior most puisne judge of the High Courts in the region by rotation can be the Chairman of the regional academies.
There is a view that regional academies should also have in their Governing Boards representatives from the District Judiciary and the NGOs/Social Workers.
The role and responsibilities of the Governing Board members vis-à-vis the regular faculty must be delineated so that there is no compromise on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. However links with higher judiciary at the administrative level may help enhance prestige and credibility for the courses while ensuring greater discipline on the part of trainees.
There is a caution given that care should be taken not to let the academies become a place for re-employment of retired judges or an asylum for those not desired in the regular courts for whatever reasons.
(3) Relationship between Academies to maximise Productivity :
There may be functional control of regional and State academies by the N.J.A. for purposes of quality assurance. Otherwise, the two have a large area of co-ordinate functions. Every member of regional/state academies be deputed to be in the faculty of the N.J.A. for a fixed period to acquire special expertise and to facilitate academic co-ordination. Similarly faculty of the N.J.A. may be deputed to state/regional academies for fixed periods to enhance interaction.
Two-thirds of all training programmes need to be organized at the State /regional level and only one-third need to be at the national level. Participation at the national level courses be regulated on the basis of merit and functional roles.
A system of communication linkages be established with the N.J.A. so that judicial officers can have the benefit of courses nationally conducted through distance learning techniques, video-conferencing etc. This can enhance the reach of training without disturbing officers from their work places and schedules.
Curriculum development and standardisation of syllabii and study materials are the key functions of the NJA and much of the actual conduct of training should be left to the State/regional academies. There should not be hierarchical or bureaucratic controls which will inhibit the development of State academies in its own fashion responding to local problems and challenges.
There is a view that while the NJA should be the place for training of District Judges and possibly High Court Judges, the State/regional academies should conduct training for the subordinate judicial officers. Refresher courses for specialised training and continuing education of senior judicial officers should first be developed and conducted by the NJA and in appropriate cases be repeated in State/regional academies. Such courses should be carefully planned to serve specific needs and experimented for its impact at the NJA level before recommended for repetition elsewhere. This will avoid wastage of resources and maximise benefits to judiciary as a whole.
(4) Composition of Faculty in Judicial Academies :
The size of the faculty will vary according to demands and resources. However, on an average a State academy may have a Principal and a Vice-Principal, two Professors, one or to Lecturers and two or three Research Officers. Of course, this is to be the core faculty and will be supplemented by a guest faculty of invited experts from the locality. In any case, a minimum of five full-time faculty members should invariably be available to every training institution.
According to one view, the minimum academic staff of a regional training institution should be fifteen (15) with at least 20 supporting administrative staff. This would include a Director (rank of High Court Judge), a Deputy Director (rank of Senior District Judge), three Professors representing three relevant disciplines (law, management and social services), three Associate Professors representing judiciary (civil judge rank), forensic sciences and behavioural sciences respectively, two instructors in law, two computer/information technology (library) experts and two field work co-ordinators (experienced court administrators/lawyers).
It is suggested that the ratio between trainers and trainees should be in the range of 1:5.
The primary principle should be that judges should be teaching other judges and academies are to enrich and diversify this process. The ideal situation would be to find volunteers among distinguished and retired judges to undertake the teaching functions according to pedagogic techniques and teaching goals evolved by academic faculty of training institutions.
Considering that there is hardly any tradition of systematic judicial training in the country as a whole and that there will be heavy demands in training which may be between 2000 to 2500 trainees per year for at least five or more types of courses (induction courses and refresher (continuing education) courses), there is need to develop a cadre of regular faculty members trained and motivated to undertake the tasks in the immediate future. Identifying another 1000 or more guest faculty members, interested, competent and distributed in different States is another task to be undertaken. They also need to be given an orientation if the effort has to be productive; co-ordinated and functional.
(5) Existing Academies to be developed as Regional Academies?
While there is general agreement to declare the Lucknow, Secunderabad and Gauhati academies of regional status, there is demand for a similar one at Nagpur or Jaipur for the western region. There is a demand for a regional academy at Bangalore as well.
The primary requirement, it is argued, is strengthening State academies than go for regional one. State academies with National Academy at Bhopal can fulfil the immediate needs at least for some time.
(6) Budget Estimates for running a Judicial Academy :
The budget projections vary between 2 to 10 crores of rupees though a substantial section of respondents believe that once the infra-structure is available the running cost can well be within 2 to 3 crores of rupees a year. A State academy can well be managed with rupees two crores of which one crore will be for salaries and another for administration and programmes.
The average annual budget of the National Academy may be in the range of rupees 5 crores.
(7) Selection and Retention of Faculty :
Most respondents are in favour of recruiting permanent faculty for basic needs of training. The Judiciary and Universities are the two sources for their recruitment. Senior advocates if available can also serve the need in some cases.
If faculty were to be drawn from serving judges and professors, they should be taken on deputation at least for a minimum period of 5 years extendable for another 5 years. This will prevent stagnation and bring in fresh blood with diverse experiences. However, it is not easy to identify the right person to come for deputation.
Retired judges and professors if found suitable can be engaged on contract basis as either regular or adjunct faculty. Other things being equal, outstanding District Judges rather than High Court judges may better serve the needs of training.
Senior judges with interest in teaching may be given an year off from judicial work if they volunteer to teach at the academies.
The Directors/Principals should be appointed for a minimum term of six to ten years preferably from the higher judiciary or eminent jurists.
(8) Status to be accorded to Senior Faculty in the Academies :
While the Director/Principal of State/regional academies should have the status and perquisites of a High Court Judge, the others in the Faculty may be placed on equivalent status of Central Universities. Deputy Directors/Vice-Principal may have the status of a Secretary to Government in States.
The status of the Director of the NJA should be that of a Supreme Court Judge. Others in the Faculty may carry scales of pay offered in institutions of national importance like the IITs, IIMs etc.
(9) Medium of Instruction in Academies :
Two-third of the respondents want English to be medium of instruction while one-third are split between Hindi and regional language together with English.
(10) Organization of Skills Teaching :
Skills teaching is important in training; but it may not necessarily need a separate department to organize clinical training. Given the fact that majority of faculty members are people with skills, they would impart skills training in their respective courses. Further in field placement, project work and mock trials/moot courts the trainees may get opportunities to sharpen their skills.
(11)Academic Links Desirable with Outside Institutions :
Exposure to the training programmes of other countries is always beneficial. Eminent judicial trainers from outside institutions may be invited for short periods to conduct seminars or co-teach courses with the Faculty in the academies. Wherever possible, trainees at least in refresher/continuing education courses may be provided opportunities to participate in training programmes of other countries and trainee judges from these countries may be admitted to join the courses in the academies in India.
In any case, academies should develop professional links with comparable institutions outside India and exchange publications and study materials. This will be mutually beneficial to improve quality of judging and to have critical feedbacks on our strengths and weaknesses. International collaboration in judicial training particularly at the level of SAARC or Commonwealth should be encouraged.
(12) Computer Training for Judicial Officers :
All judges are unanimous in their opinion that training in computers particularly its use in judicial work must be compulsorily taught in all training programmes. Academies should be fully equipped with equipments and instructors not only to teach the use of computers, but it must form an integral part of the training methodologies in every course.
Some persons suggested that every court should have access to internet and e-mail facilities as well.
(13) Financing Judicial Academies : Desirability of Seeking Private Donations :
Many respondents are emphatic that the funds should come from the State only. There was one view that international finances available for judicial training should be kept in a central pool and individual academies made to compete for grants from it according to the merit of their programmes.
Another view supported by many says that there is no harm in seeking donation of library and study materials as well as teaching aids.
(14) Can Judicial Academy come up on the model of L.B.S. Academy, Mussorie?
Majority suggests that it can be a model in many respects in terms of infra-structure and quality of programmes. However, it suffers from a bureaucratic structure; whereas the model of IITs and IIMs is more professional and adaptable for judicial officers.
III. NATURE AND SCOPE OF PROGRAMMES
(1) Status of Foundtion/Induction Courses :
Yes, the induction courses for fresh recruits and promotees constitute the major activity of the State academies; whereas refresher and continuing education courses should engage most of the time of regional and national academies.
(2) Status of Refresher Courses :
Refresher courses for officers who are already in service are necessary and should compulsorily be attended once in three years (or, in any case, once in five years) by judges at all levels including the High Courts. The average size of such courses can be anywhere between 25 to 35 participants.
The duration of such courses depending upon the subject and scope of such exercise can vary between 1 to 6 weeks; the suggestion being 1 week for High Court Judges, 1 to 2 weeks for District Judges and 1 to 3 weeks for others.
Taking into consideration the large number of judges at all levels to be able to undertake refresher courses, the academies need to conduct such courses round the year, sometimes having more than one such course at the same time. Initially it may pose some organizational difficulties; after gaining some experience and standardization of quality criteria, it may be possible to repeat such courses more frequently or even to offer them at least partly through distance education techniques.
(3) Should Academies offer courses other than Induction and Refresher Programmes for Judicial Officers?
Thematic courses of shorter duration of 1 to 5 days including week-end courses may be organized to presiding officers of specialised tribunals and senior level administrators of judicial establishments.
It is also desirable to have at least occasionally orientation courses organized to officers who in their official functions deal with judicial proceedings. Thus, police officers, public prosecutors, income tax and custom, excise officials, Government secretaries, law officers of Government and Heads of Public Sector Undertakings may all be brought in to educate them on judicial processes, rule of law, issues on Court-Executive interface, contempt of court and human rights jurisdiction of superior courts.
Courses should always be need-based, informative, analytical, and result-oriented.
There is need for judicial academies undertaking research projects on a continuing basis either by themselves or jointly with universities and other organizations on issues of interest in judicial organization and administration with a view to propose judicial reforms and enhance judicial productivity.
Management related courses ought to form the focus of special seminars and workshops. Seminars on issues of contemporary public concern should also receive the attention of Judicial Academies.
Occasionally courses for the supporting staff of courts may also be organized to motivate and educate them on the tasks of judicial administration as distinguished from general administration.
Yoga, meditation and similar stress-releasing and efficiency-promoting techniques should form an essential part of courses.
(4) Venue for Courses outside the Academy
Majority of respondents wanted the judicial training courses to be residential even when held outside the campus of the Academy.
Though regional and national academies may be encouraged to conduct their courses in different States for officers of the State, it was felt that courses in the campus of the Academy involving equal rank officers of several States have distinct advantages in inter-active learning and developing judicial discipline and solidarity. In any case, unless proper infra-structure and learning environment is available, no attempt should be made to organize courses for judicial officers in premises outside the campus of judicial academies. It is better not to organize training rather than organize badly and bring disrepute to a valuable tool for influencing change.
There is an opinion advanced that only foundation course be residential. Refresher and short duration courses will have to justify each time why it should be residential and what are the adverse outcomes if it is organized on week-ends or part-time basis or purely through correspondence/distance education methods. This is to avoid disturbance to judicial work and to save scarce resources.
(5) Standardization of Distance Education and Training:
There is mixed reaction to distance education in judicial training. For education purposes, they argue, it will be possible; but for training of skills, it is still to be developed.
However, there is wide support to start off correspondence courses with standard materials for continuing education of judicial officers. This may cover new legislations or amendments to existing legislations and leading case laws, both Indian and foreign. Even summaries of expert committee reports and of articles by eminent jurists in legal periodicals can be communicated to all judicial officers by the Academies. Knowledge-based components of judicial education can well be supplied through correspondence and learning on them can be assessed through project reports and similar assignments. Well produced audio and video cassettes can be an effective medium even to introduce new skills and attitudes to judicial officers. However, in distance learning also, participating officers should be examined and evaluated by the Academies through assignments or otherwise.
Perhaps, an option can be given to the judges to obtain the grade requirement in continuing education either through an extended period of distance learning or a residential programme of a shorter duration.
(6) to (9) Objects Determination in Foundation and Refresher Courses
Note : Even though these cluster of questions attempted to gather specific objects of the two types of courses distinguished from generalised goals, the responses did not throw much light. This is what the trainers need for designing a course and to develop appropriate techniques to address each of the objects. It is also necessary to evaluate the impact of each segment of the course. To the extent the objects remain vague and generalised, skills, attitude and ethical standards cannot be addressed adequately in judicial training. Of course, to some extent all objects cannot be articulated in simplistic terms; nor can it be exhaustively stipulated at any given time. Nevertheless, the first task of every teacher/trainer will continue to be the struggle to identify and communicate clearly and unambiguously the learning goals of the total course and of each module in it.
It is interesting to find that many respondents expect from the induction training better understanding of legal principles as well as substantive and procedural laws, (what ought to have been obtained in LL.B.), familiarity with court functioning (which must have been observed during legal practice) and knowledge about working of related departments of police, revenue, jails, forensic labs, mental hospitals etc. (which again a conscientious lawyer could have gathered in practice). This is the problem with objects being vague. The training ends up in repeating what is already known or giving elementary things at a superficial level which one expects in the pre-recruitment education and practice of lawyers.
There are others who identify the objects as judicial decision-making, writing judgments, passing interim orders, managing court procedures and personnel, judicial ethics, treatment of special categories like juveniles, unsound persons, alternate systems of dispute resolution, computer literacy, accounting in courts, relationship with the Bar and media etc.
Interestingly again, there has not been any mention in the responses that study of the impact of constitutional law and judicial review is to be a subject of study in the training of new recruits to the judiciary. Nor is human rights referred to as a topic for learning in induction training.
Updating in legal developments is the popular response to the question on "objects" for refresher courses. Improvement of skills and capabilities (without identifying them) have been suggested as additional objects of refresher and continuing education courses. Imparting skills and knowledge to deal with special laws involved in motor accident compensation disputes, land acquisition disputes, disputes under companies and industrial disputes acts etc. were suggested for specialised continuing education courses.
Major changes in any area of law and policy and introduction of major departures in judicial administration should be the objects of short term seminars and workshops organized by judicial academies. Such programmes should include case studies and field visits rather than substantive knowledge.
For motivating judges to voluntarily seek participation in training, the strategy would be mention in service records, award of certificates, giving monetary incentives and recognizing distinguished performance in training courses as additional qualification in promotion and placement.
(10) Objects of Training Outside India :
Only judicial officers with long years of experience to be sent. The objects include understanding the law and judicial systems of other countries. Only those very good in English language and personal interest in comparative legal studies should be sent for training abroad. Another object of training abroad is to study how science and technology can improve the quality of dispensation of justice.
The trainers (faculty of training academies) should be sent for further training abroad so that, through them, Indian judicial officers can receive what is good in other systems in a manner appropriate to Indian situation. Foreign training in the best of such institutions will help improve organizational aspects relating to the conduct of such training. There is a view that training abroad should be confined to the trainers in judicial academies.
(11) Foreign Judges in Indian Academies :
Respondents mainly welcomed limited training opportunities being provided for judges from abroad, particularly of Commonwealth countries. They opined that it should be on payment of full costs and possibly on reciprocal basis.
(12) Should Academies have a role in Recruitment Process :
Academies are welcome to offer pre-selection counselling and training to prospective candidates for judicial offices particularly those belonging to reserved categories.
Academies may also be authorized to conduct the Judicial Selection examination on behalf of the High Courts or the Public Service Commission and under the directions of the High Court concerned.
There were some persons among the respondents who were against giving training academies a role in actual selection of judges. However, there is no objection in a member of the faculty being invited to sit with High Court judges while interviewing candidates. Some persons did not want even that.
To a suggestion made as to whether bright students from law colleges can be identified, motivated and guided by judicial training academies for judicial selections, the respondents are generally in agreement. Possibly a campus selection by the High Court through an alternate process if formulated under proper rules may also find approval in this regard.
TRAINING THE TRAINERS
(1) Lack of Qualified Trainers and how to produce them :
There is not enough competent, dedicated and trained teachers for judicial academies. This is not because such people are not available in the country. Both in the Judiciary and in Universities there are potentially capable trainers, but they do not prefer to go to training institutions because of the poor service conditions, paucity of infra-structure facilities and low prestige given to such assignments in the judicial establishment itself.
The best available resource is in the judiciary itself. Sitting and retired judges who have inclination for teaching can be recruited and trained to become competent trainers if they can be offered conditions of service attractive enough to opt for such job. A large Panel of such personnel from amongst High Court and District Judges should be prepared for possible assignments in academies for periods long enough to make an impact. Retirement from such assignments should be at 65 years, the age at which Supreme Court judges retire. The usual recruitment procedures are unlikely to attract the right type of faculty members to the academies. It must be a process of nomination-cum-invitation-cum-selection based on pre-determined criteria widely publicised in the entire judiciary and in the Universities.
(2) Staff Structure in the Academies :
There is some support to the suggestion that the faculty strength may be equally divided into permanent, deputation-basis and guest teachers. However, others think that long-term deputation and larger pool of visiting lecturers will be conducive to better performance. Permanent faculty may after sometime feel frustrated because of lack of adequate promotional opportunities as compared to their counterparts in the judiciary.
However, there is a strong view that no institution can develop in the long run if a core team of permanent staff is not available and, as such, each academy should have some senior level permanent teachers who may be available to the institution for at least 10 to 15 years.
(3) Role of NJA to provide Trainers to Regional/State Academies :
Yes, the National Judicial Academy should undertake the task of identifying a pool of officers with the help of the High Courts from throughout the country, train them for different tasks and notify their availability for teaching assignments in different academies in the region. The reputation of judges in the profession, the service records and an aptitude survey based on relevant criteria can help the High Court/NJA to spot such candidates. The process should be transparent and scientific and no caste, region or other irrelevant considerations should influence the process.
If there is to be a Judicial Service Commission, it can perform the task ably and on objective criteria.
There are possibilities of identifying such candidates in the Bar also.
(4) Qualities of a Good Judicial Trainer :
A number of qualities have been identified by the respondents. These include -
(i) Sound knowledge of the theory and practice of law.
(ii) Commitment to independent judiciary and judicial reform.
(iii) An effective communicator and good command of language.
(iv) Aptitude to work as a teacher and ability to learn more.
(v) Capacity to inspire trainees and promote interactive learning.
(vi) Good reputation and integrity of character, to be a role model.
(vii) Research capability with inter-disciplinary approaches.
(viii) Creative thinking, willingness to unlearn and re-learn.
(ix) Punctual, disciplined, clean habits and secular-minded.
(x) Experience in management/administration.
(xi) Proficient in some subject other than law.
(xii) Understand the psychology of adult learning.
(xiii) A sense of history, a sense of humour and respect for rule of law and human rights.
(5) Availability of Trainers outside Judiciary :
Outside judiciary, good trainers for judicial academies can be found in reputed law colleges, universities, the Bar, management institutions, staff of existing training institutions and corporate establishments.
(6) Desirability of Training the Trainers in Judicial Academies Abroad :
There is wide approval to the suggestion that the identified pool of officers should be sent to the best available judicial academies abroad to learn the essentials of organization and conduct of training programmes. The idea is not to gather substantive knowledges but to learn the pedagogic methods of effective training of highly educated persons like judges. Association with master trainers and observation of actual training exercises would give the ideas and skills to suitably improvise techniques for use in India. Since there is no such experience in this regard in India, such visits by the trainers at least for some initial period will be beneficial.
(7) Strategies to develop Academies as Centres of Excellence :
There is positive response to the suggestion that based on performance in the first few years, judicial academies should have the prospects of becoming universities which could award degrees in judiciary-related studies. Such a prospect would promote research and innovation on every aspect of administration of justice and provide empirical data on any proposition to the judiciary to plan reforms.
Advanced seminars, workshops and judicial conferences under the auspices of academies can generate new ideas and initiatives for constant improvement of quality of education, training and research.
The status of excellence should be earned by hard work and competitiveness through outputs, reputation, publication and consultancy.
There should be periodical performance audit of the academies by a high-powered body which should advise on academic agenda and performance targets.
(8) Universities to be advised on Degrees in Court Management :
Yes, if reputed universities and management institutes can educate people on Court Management, it will provide trained persons for judicial administration. Perhaps judicial academies can introduce such courses jointly with management institutions which will enable officers already in service to take advantage of such programmes.
4.9 Research and Development Work in Academies :
Research in judicial wing of government is a neglected area and there is no reliable information on a variety of aspects concerning judiciary which has grown in size and complexity over the years. Judicial academies should start research on priority issues. The judges who come for training are a rich resource for gathering information and conducting small studies with field surveys. It helps in training them also on hidden facts of judicial administration.
It will be ideal to prepare a research agenda after wide consultation with the judiciary so that the outcome of research can find its way to policy formulation and administrative reforms.
Problems and issues are many and varied. They have to be broken down into research questions and proper methodology has to be worked out so that it can be managed in reasonable time and they are linked to a common theme or development goal. Such action-oriented research can change the quality of governance in the judicial set-up. Academies are eminently suited to take this responsibility right from the beginning.
4.10 Planning Infra-Structure for Future Challenges :
The infra-structure pattern of LBS Academy at
Mussorie appears to be of guidance in planning the national and regional
judicial academies. More than physical infra-structure, it is the academic
programmes, professional management and functional autonomy which will tell on
the efficiency of the academies. There must be halls specially designed for moot
courts and mock trials for ADR experiments and for group study. Computerised
library system with one terminal for two trainees should be available.
Additional Comments :
Some very valuable suggestions have come from respondents by way of additional comments. These are :
(i) All senior faculty members should be encouraged to do research on areas of his choice for which one month's paid leave should be made available. There should be a research article published each year by every faculty member.
(ii) Faculty members who get poor assessments from the trainees for two consecutive courses should be repatriated to the parent departments and not retained in academies on compassionate or other grounds.
(iii) All training academies should grow over a 5 to 10 year period according to performance and its own reputation. Therefore the investment on a training institution should not be made at one go.
(iv) Judges who have robust common sense, practical skills and varied experience should be constantly inducted into the academies at least for short periods even if they refuse to come on regular assignments.
V. CURRICULUM CONTENT AND SYLLABII
(1) Appropriateness of the Curriculum for Foundation Course :
The accompanying memorandum to the Questionnaire suggested the following six themes for the Foundation Course Curriculum :
(a) Knowledge of Law in the context of social change and development.
(b) Understanding judicial process in Governance under rule of law.
(c) Updating knowledge of Law and Legal Procedure.
(d) Developing skills in Management of Court and related systems.
(e) Government Policies, Judicial interface and Speedy Justice.
(f) Judicial Ethics, Discipline and Accountability.
Each of the themes are broken down into different subjects and teaching modules to develop a syllabus for the induction training course.
Asked on the adequacy of the curriculum, the respondents generally agreed with the relevance, coverage and organization of the content proposed. They however felt that one year period can be reduced if some of the subject papers (like Law and Social Development, Law and Economics, Judicial Review and Judicial Process, Principles of Legislation and Interpretation of Statutes, Constitutional Law) are dropped. Their argument is subordinate court judges do not immediately need such knowledges more than what they have acquired in LL.B. or in legal practice.
It was suggested by some that direct recruits from the Bar may need training on (a) framing issues/charges, passing interim orders, writing judgments and sentencing; (b) understanding of work of police stations, correctional institutions, prisons, revenue departments, forensic laboratories etc.; (c) working of courts at various levels; (d) knowledge of accounts and civil service rules; and (e) judicial ethics.
There was a strong suggestion that training for adequate computer proficiency should be provided if necessary for two or three months to be able to master information technology.
The curriculum should have a core content which is immediately needed by the trainees and a broader content on which ideas may be given for self study and development.
(2) Three-step Process of Training and its Relevance :
There was overwhelming support for the three-step concept in the training of fresh recruits ie. initial 6 months of course work at the academy, next 3 months of field work and final 3 months again at the academy to round up the work assignments and remaining part of course requirements mainly based on practical skills and court management.
There was an opinion that the field placement should be of longer duration and class room studies reduced. Another suggestion was to divide the training period into foundation course and professional orientation, the former to be completed in 3 to 4 months and the rest to be devoted to the work he should be doing as a judge; namely, judgment writing, court management etc.
The introductory course for people in service (on promotion to a higher cadre) should be of one or two months only.
(3) List of Subjects and Credits :
Broadly there was support to the list of eighteen subjects to be taught in 6 months of training. Some suggested that segments IV and V may be shortened and kept for the last 3 months of training. There is need for greater weightage to be given to computer and information technology. Similarly C.P.C. and Cr.P.C., Law of Evidence and Rules of Court should occupy more time and attention.
There appears to be overlapping of subjects which should be avoided when learning modules are developed in each subject.
Weightage for subjects which are not of immediate use to judicial officers may substantially be reduced.
(4) Suggestions on Emphasis of Modules in different Subjects :
Thirty class hours for each subject are adequate to address the issues therein. However, in practice there may be need to increase the number of class hours in particular subjects and borrow it from other subjects. This is a matter to be adjusted by the Faculty and what is suggested here is to be taken for guidance only.
The course co-ordinator must prepare a lesson plan and a teaching plan keeping the expected outcomes from each subject and the course as a whole.
At the beginning of every course, the participants may be asked to list their needs and expectations from the training. Such suggestions may be given proper consideration in designing the teaching plan.
(5) Skills of Judging and Methods of Teaching them :
It was the opinion of a retired High Court Judge who has had a long career in the subordinate courts (Dr. Justice David Annoussamy from Pondicherry) that the training time should not be wasted in teaching substantive or procedural law. The selection test should be so devised to ensure adequate knowledge of the laws. Training should be on practical knowledge and skills only which should be taught through moot courts and mock trials. Training will be successful only if meritorious candidates alone are selected based on adequate knowledge of laws and procedure.
According to the Justice, there are six types of skills to be taught during training and examined at the end of it. These are :
(1) Comprehend the disputed matter to be able to frame charges and issues, not casually, but professionally. Materials should be given for that purpose with increasingly complicated exercises as the candidate proceeds in the training.
(2) Ability to detect admissibility and relevancy of evidence quickly and correctly to be able to conduct the trial according to law. An exercise for teaching this skill could be providing recorded evidence of past cases and asking them to remove inadmissible and irrelevant portions. They may be also asked to write down memorandum of substance of evidence from the full fledged record.
As conduct of trial includes asking questions by court and giving a finding on questions asked, it is desirable that trainees are given the charges/the issues, and the evidence recorded and are asked to formulate questions which could have been asked by the court.
(3) The third skill is to be able to receive intelligently the arguments advanced by both sides. If arguments are irrelevant and repetitive, judge should be able to seek clarification from advocates; otherwise they may face difficulties while writing judgments. To teach this skill, trainees may be asked to hear recorded arguments and write down their reactions indicating when and for what reasons they would have intervened if the arguments were advanced while they were presiding.
(4) The fourth skill according to the judge is capacity to analyze evidence according to the issues framed. Judges just summarise the evidence and jump on their conclusions on preponderance. Analysis requires a different, rational approach.
(5) The fifth skill is to gather the law, interpret it and decide on questions of law applicable.
(6) The final skill necessary is writing judgments without repetitions, unnecessary reproduction of documents, evidence, case law, statutory provisions etc. How to organize and respond to issues in such a manner as to satisfy the parties to the dispute (not keeping the appellate court or the media in mind).
An exercise which can help teach the skill is asking to write judgments on the basis of materials supplied and to remove what is removable in judgments already rendered.
Note : The views of Justice David Annoussamy give valuable insights for the trainers to organize the teaching of skills in simulated situations in the academies and in structuring the content of the knowledge-oriented courses in the training programme.
On the question of judicial skills, other respondents suggested that the essential skills for judges are cool temperament, patience, listening, good memory, control of court proceedings particularly on lawyers, without appearing biased, analytical ability, time management, judgment writing and human relations management.
Case study, role playing exercises and writing projects relevant to the skills are methods of teaching skills.
(6) Balancing Knowledge Component with Skills Component :
Respondents suggest a "judicious mix" in which the skill-based segment is given 60% time and space and knowledge segment 40% of time and attention.
It was suggested that in refresher courses and continuing education programmes, knowledge component may be given wider coverage while in induction training the skill component greater emphasis.
(7) Teaching of Judicial Ethics
While some felt that the subject can be taught in an integrated manner in every course/subject, the majority of respondents argued that it must be taught as an independent subject. Reputed and experienced judges can teach the subject through case studies, lecture discussions and role playing.
(8) Syllabus Development for Refresher Courses :
Many have suggested that new developments in law and practical problems in administration of justice should form the subject matter of refresher courses. They can occupy the role of remedial programmes for known deficiencies in the judicial system. Anyway these are to be reviewed and changed from time to time.
Judicial officers themselves may be asked to suggest themes for refresher courses from time to time.
(9) Coping with Needs of Individual Trainees :
Individualised attention is desirable in training. This is possible effectively only when the trainer-trainee ratio is high and the programme content is evolved on the basis of problems identified by trainees themselves.
There should be counselling and project assignments to help individual trainees. Remedial programmes to be introduced as and when needed for which bright and promising trainees may themselves be used.
Follow-up contacts through correspondence can help individuals to cope up with judicial work. Assistance through phone or personal visits is helpful.
Two or three trainees may be attached with each faculty member to offer individual guidance and interactive learning.
More discussions and small group exercises can promote solution of individual problems in learning.
(10) Continuing Education for Superior Court Judges :
The general opinion is that judges at all
levels require training. Judicial conferences with pre-conference workshops are
useful for continuing education of superior court judges. Short duration,
week-end refresher courses are advisable for High Court judges.
VI. METHODS OF TRAINING
(1) Scope of Lecture-cum-Discussion in a Training Programme :
It is good teaching method; but is not enough. Participative learning techniques should be employed wherever possible. In any case lecture-discussion should not be extended beyond one-fifth of the entire training.
A work book may be prepared by the faculty in advance for each subject detailing the study plan, essential reading, exercises to be done, portions left for self-study and expected outcomes.
The knowledge component of training can largely be taught through lecture and questions followed by written tests and group discussions.
(2) Scope for some part of Syllabus left for self-study:
If information giving is the object of a given module, it may be left for self-study. Even then discussion in groups of such topics may be helpful for enhancing the understanding of the subject/information.
(3) Scope of Independent Research and Writing (Projects):
Yes, project work for research and writing on issues relevant to judicial learning is good method provided proper guidance is available from the Faculty and the project report is presented and discussed in group meetings involving sitting judges. It can be evaluated for 15 to 20 per cent of the credit for each subject. The selection of project topics may be made in consultation with trainees. Some projects may be assigned to groups of trainees when they involve more investigation and analysis.
Projects are effective only in residential courses. Case comments, dissertations on socio-legal topics and critiquing of articles by eminent jurists published in legal periodicals etc. are research/writing exercises which can make learning real and practical.
Some Respondents suggested 25% of total credit in given subjects to independent research and writing
(4) Scope of Simulation Exercises in Skills Education :
Mock trials, moot courts, negotiation and mediation exercises as well as conciliation and arbitration of different types of disputes under simulated conditions must be assigned to each trainee. The entire process may be video-taped, played back in the presence of experts and other trainees and critiqued for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each training in the use of such techniques. Similarly video clippings of actual proceedings by leading lawyers/judges may be presented for comparison to the trainees.
It was suggested that these practice exercises should not be basis for grading the over all performance of trainees. In fact trainees should be allowed to evaluate and grade themselves giving supporting reasons for their assessment.
These techniques of training should occupy one-third of the total time of training and one-third of credits of the course.
(5) Scope for Small Group Discussion and Workshops :
Appropriate method for giving deeper insights on topics of current relevance, issues of science and technology, controversial questions of law & policy, emerging areas of law related knowledges requiring inter-disciplinary skills. Every subject and every topic should accommodate as many seminar and workshop exercises wherever possible, in the company of one or two experts on the subject to act as discussants. It may be also advisable to invite trainees themselves to act as moderators of such seminars/workshops.
(6) Scope of Law Clinics (Legal Aid Clinics) in Academies :
Given the increasing importance of Lok Adalats and ADRs, it will help bring at least some aspects of judicial work in the academy premises if legal aid clinics are set up on a regular basis.
Law clinics can also serve a variety of other learning goals depending upon its structure, contacts with NGOs and resources.
(7) Periodic Examinations to Enhance Learning :
The respondents did say that periodic examinations, not of the conventional type only, can be a regular feature of training course. In fact, the course can start with one examination (written and oral) which will give a profile of the group and weaknesses of individual trainees. If such initial test is linked with the series of tests culminating in the final assessment, it gives an idea of the total learning curve of individual trainee and the impact of the training. The entire data must be computerized, transparent and to be explained to the trainee by the Faculty concerned.
Some persons felt such periodic examinations will be a distraction to learning and should be avoided. Too many examinations and too much importance on them may undermine the efficiency and objects of training. Examination is to remain a measure of learning from which the trainee himself could improve the pace and level of learning.
(8) Training Methods for Short-term Refresher Courses:
Seminars, group discussions, lectures, group assignments (projects) are to be used imaginatively. Field experiences wherever possible should be provided by visits in groups.
Video-tapes, correspondence and tele-conferencing are other strategies for conducting continuing education.
(9) Examination of Refresher Course Participants :
Yes, suitable examination to evaluate the extent of learning in continuing education courses is also desirable. It can be "take home", "open-book" examinations besides group discussion and written assignments.
However, refresher courses should not aim to find the shortcomings of judges which may affect his career prospects.
(10) Use of Crash Courses for Training Existing Staff :
Respondents were equally divided on the potential of crash courses and that too correspondence to train the 15,000 existing judicial officers. They felt at best it may give some knowledge based education but not true training.
A tremendous pool of ideas and comments emerged out of the survey conducted through the Questionnaire. Because some questions were asked differently in more than one place, some aspects of judicial education and training have come in for repeated discussion in the body of the analysis. However, the conclusions are clear and emphatic and are supported by an overwhelming number of respondents who are sitting and retired judges of the country. The fact that a large number of judicial officers' associations have taken active interest in the survey and have enriched the findings reflect the dominant faith of the judiciary in the principle of reform through training.
A brief summary of the propositions which reflect judicial thinking on the subject and which are adopted in formulating the recommendations of the report in subsequent chapters is reproduced below :
(i) There is a felt need for judicial education and training at all levels of the judicial hierarchy. What is obtaining at present is thoroughly unsatisfactory both in contents and methods. The objects have to be clear, the methods have to be scientific, inter-active and participatory, the faculty ought to be carefully chosen, trained and retained for longer periods and a system of evaluation of learning needs to be developed through objective, transparent criteria.
(ii) Realising the imperative need and critical importance of training in shaping judicial behaviour, the scheme should be given the priority it deserves through a variety of norms, standards and procedures. The object is to convey the message to the judicial officers that their career advancement will be regulated by the performances at the training and conduct afterwards. Those whose performance in training is unsatisfactory will have to repeat the training course at great risk to the service benefits. Only by motivating the officers and by giving attention to augmenting the strengths and removing the weaknesses through individualised training, can the system expect to impact in the desired directions.
(iii) Judicial education is to be conceived differently from judicial training though they have the same goals, but different objects. Clarity in articulating the objects of different types of courses will help improve the methods adopted in training and in maximising the benefits to the trainees. This is where educational psychology, principles of adult learning and inter-play of interactive, participatory methods contribute to the evolution of scientifically organized training schemes. Training, after all, is influencing behaviour of an individual and it is a complex process of motivation, building up on existing knowledges, imparting varied skills and techniques and suggesting alternative approaches in problem solving and management.
(iv) Induction courses of one year's duration at the basic level (ie. Munsiffs and Magistrates and perhaps of six month's duration at higher levels ie., Civil Judges and District Judges) and Refresher Courses of duration varying between one week to six weeks depending upon the nature of the subject of training are recommended in the proposed academies. Besides short-term, week-end seminars, workshops and conferences are recommended for orientation and sensitization purposes on themes found to be appropriate from time to time by higher judiciary.
(v) In Induction Courses there are serious problems arising out of the uneven and sometimes extremely inadequate knowledge, language skills and motivation levels of the trainees. If the recruitment process is not tightened to ensure that only persons with the expected minimum standards alone get selected, there has to be remedial courses organized for the weaker candidates at great expense and possibly greater inconvenience to the system itself. This is a matter which the High Courts will have to address if the new training initiative has to achieve maximum results.
(vi) Training at periodic intervals aimed at updating knowledge, imparting specialized skills and equipping to take higher judicial responsibilities is necessary in judiciary more than ever before. However, if they are not carefully planned and competently executed, they would not yield the desired results. Today there is very little happening in existing institutions in this direction.
(vii) There is need for a judicial academy in the jurisdiction of each High Court for one or more States. Equally, there should be a national academy with specialised functions such as curriculum development, training the trainers, standardising training methods, materials and evaluation techniques, evolving norms and themes for short-term refresher courses and long-term distance education training, co-ordinating common tasks of State level academies etc. The reaction to the proposal for four regional training institutions was mixed. Many felt it to be unnecessary at least at the present moment.
(viii) There was general support to the proposal to give independent status and autonomy to the judicial academies. The Governing Board should be presided by the Chief Justice himself and should have representation not only from the judiciary but also the academia, government and other stake holders. The organizational status can be that of a society registered under the Society's Registration Act on the model of the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, as it would give the necessary flexibility and status to perform its tasks responsibly.
(ix) The Faculty of judicial academies should consist of a core permanent group which represents relevant disciplines including Law and a large visiting/guest teachers invited from judiciary, practising profession and technical experts from other disciplines. Naturally, the majority of teachers/trainers should come from the judiciary; however, they should be carefully chosen based on knowledge, reputation, ability to communicate and aptitude to train. The Faculty should be paid as well as High Court Judges or Senior Professors of IITs or IIMs. If they have not been teaching earlier, they should be given an orientation training before giving training responsibilities in the Academy.
(x) Every respondent to the questionnaire insisted on detailed and insightful training on the use of computers in judicial work. They felt that as much time required for the purpose should be found in the training period for this purpose.
(xi) Induction training for fresh recruits and refresher courses for officers in service will form the major activity of the judicial academies. However, they should undertake research on current problems facing the judiciary and expose the officers to the causes and concerns for the ills of judicial administration. In this regard judicial academies should build networks with other institutions of higher learning within the country and outside.
(xii) It will be desirable for the academies to evolve and conduct appropriate courses for the staff of the judicial establishment with a view to increase efficiency and productivity.
(xiii) On the content of the training courses, there were lots of useful suggestions. There is agreement that it should not be repeating law subjects studied in the college though procedural subjects require a more detailed functional analysis during training. Imparting skills of judicial work and inculcating values of the judicial system should occupy more time and space in the curriculum. The approach should be inter-disciplinary and reflecting the working environment the officer experiences in the court setting. In this regard, training the future trainers should be the first priority.
The curriculum should have a core absolute content and a variable, need-based content which must be constantly revised on the basis of experiences gained during training exercises. There should be a balance between theory-based courses and skill-based components of training.
The proposal to have six months initial training followed by three months' field study, followed again by another three months' round-up learning in the academy (for induction training) is generally welcomed by most people.
(xiv) The Academies
can borrow many organizing strategies from the
(xv) While there is large agreement on organized, scientific and purposeful training for the new recruits to different judicial cadres in the subordinate judiciary, there is not much consensus on how to go about training the officers who are already part of the system. Use of crash courses, distance education techniques and selective introduction of institutionalised programmes have been suggested. The point that this problem requires special attention and possibly special type of courses was well-taken.
Based on the above perspectives, comments and suggestions of the judicial fraternity, the next few chapters have given some shape to the organization of the academies, the development of the courses and the adoption of suitable strategies for optimum levels of achievement of goals of judicial training.