13. Judicial Training & Education - Status, Needs, Organization & Strategies
IN-SERVICE TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
Orientation Courses :
13.9.1 Apart from induction training of fresh
recruits, there are two other training tasks which judicial academies have to
perform. Firstly, a crash programme of orientation and sensitization programmes
to the officers already in position at the primary and intermediate cadres has
to be mounted with a view to fill up the gaps in their knowledge and skills as
envisaged by the new curriculum. These can be attempted by week-end workshops,
distance education techniques and special short-term courses focussing on
knowledge, skills and attitudes. Computer literacy and management skills can be
imparted through appropriate modules in these localised orientation training
programmes selectively organized depending on local needs and resources. It is
important that these courses are available to everyone of the existing cadres
during the next two years or so.
The orientation courses are to be tailored to
local needs and, as such, are not amenable to one standardized format. The
judicial training institutions should look into the recommended new curriculum
for Munsiffs/Magistrates and compare it with the training the existing officers
had when they were inducted into service to find out the focus and content of
orientation courses. There are instances where officers have been appointed
without any substantial training whatsoever. It is necessary to remedy this
deficiency as early as possible; otherwise its adverse consequences will be felt
for long time in the service. In view of their job experience even though for a
limited period, it may be possible to condense the syllabus, collapse the
courses, adopt easier training methodologies and avoid field placement training
in these orientation programmes. At least part of such training may be given
through study materials supplied while at work and occasional seminars held in
different districts around such materials. It is desirable, however, to frame
appropriate syllabii spelling out the specific objects of each programme and
proposing a teaching/study plan to be accomplished within a reasonable
The orientation courses may be slowly tapered
out over the next few years depending on the progress made in imparting the
basic training to everyone of the subordinate judges with less than, say, five
years of work experience. Hopefully in about 2 to 5 years depending on the size
of the workforce and availability of resources, everyone of the officers in the
Munsiff/Magistrate cadre would have received the basic training recommended
under the new curriculum.
Continuing Education for Judges :
13.9.2 The in-service training courses for
officers with 5 or more years of experience and for senior judges of the
District Judiciary may be brought under the scheme of Continuing Education. This
is the second important task which judicial academies have to undertake to give
the judiciary the competence and quality it badly needs today. There is no
profession today which can perform its tasks competently unless the knowledge
and skills of its members are continuously upgraded by collective and individual
efforts. The explosion in knowledge in recent times has made it impossible for
individual practitioners to keep abreast of professional developments by
individual efforts alone. The need for multi-disciplinary approaches and skills
for rendering superior quality services and to meet the higher demands of
consumers of services have made organized, systematic continuing education
imperative for lawyers and judges. In many Western countries certain credits in
such courses at periodic intervals is a condition precedent for continuing in
the practice of the profession. There are institutions imparting such training
under professional supervision. In
Objectives : Short-term and Long-term :
13.9.3 Identifying, articulating, explaining and justifying the short-term and long-term changes that the courses aim to bring about is the first step in developing continuing education programmes. Almost everybody within the judiciary and outside will agree that judges need continuing education for increased efficiency and better sensitivity to changing needs and demands. But unless the needs can be articulated at the micro-level with respect to specific problems, it is not possible to induce change at the organizational or individual level. This is the primary task of every trainer attempting to induce change in desired directions.
How does one determine the desired directions? This is the task of the organization and of legislative/judicial policy planners. For example, expediting judicial proceedings and reducing delays and arrears in the system is a desired goal. This can be achieved by a variety of ways such as changes in the laws and procedures, re-structuring of institutions, eliminating the causes which induce people to seek or cause delays, and training the decision makers and administrators to adopt particular patterns of behaviour promotive of expedition. While the first three are systemic and organizational goals, the last one is the training goal.
The training goals are achieved by a series of sustained efforts on different fronts. Some of them are achievable in the short-term while others can come about incrementally and fully achieved only in the long run. This depends on a variety of environmental factors all of which are not susceptible to control by the change agents like the trainers and administrators. As such, every trainer has to adopt a step-by-step approach in order to ensure success for inducing change through training. As is explained elsewhere in this report, no reform in laws and structures can by themselves achieve the desired goals unless the man operating the system lends his weight towards change. Ultimately, in the justice system also it is the human element which can bring about the desired change to the desired degree. Hence the critical importance of training and re-training of judges on a continuing basis. It is the recognition of this fundamental truth which justifies investment and effort in continuing education of judicial personnel.
Assessing Learner Needs :
If elimination of delay is the goal and
behavioural and attitudinal changes in judicial officers are instrumental for
the same, the trainer will have to identify why judges behave as they do and
what can motivate them to behave differently and how. This is what is called assessment
of learner needs. What information and what type of skills can help the
learners learn most within available time and resources? A needs assessment
should always be the first step in any educational planning. In most training
programmes, the needs assessment exercise is a combination of two factors,
namely, (a) learners' expectations from the training and (b) the trainers'
assumptions on what the learner should gain from the training.
There are several ways in which the above two
factors can be addressed in order to get a clear picture of learner needs. The
trainers' own personal experience with similar activities would help to identify
some real or perceived needs. Informal conversations with the learner group or a
survey through questionnaires or interviews with learners in advance of
developing the course is an appropriate strategy to gather or verify learner
needs. The trainer can seek feedback from specialists within the judiciary or
outside which can form a great resource in identification of learner needs. Past
evaluations of training programmes are also instructive in this regard. Of
course, the judicial policies and organizational goals which Chief Justices'
Conferences or judicial officers' association meetings or law commission
recommendations might have articulated, could give ideas on the need
expectations of the system from the learners (judges).
Developing Learning Objectives :
13.9.4 Armed with information on learner needs, the next step for the trainer to take is to write out what he expects the learner to achieve from the training. What information he should get, how much of it he is to retain, what type of skills he should acquire, what existing practices or attitudes he should give up etc. must be spelt out and explained while writing out the learning objectives. Though preparing learning objectives is essential for all systems of education, in the case of adults involved in continuing education, such a step is essential if the training has to have any impact on them.
Unfortunately some of the training courses which attempt this strategy have confused system goals with learning objectives. Statement of goals which the judicial system should aspire for is not statement of learning objectives. Therefore, merely saying that the course is intended to upgrade knowledge or improve skills is not a statement of learning objectives. They are more of the nature of goals rather than specific targets aimed at in a 3 or 5 day continuing education course. Merely stating that the course aims at "Gender Sensitization" or "Sentencing Practices" etc. is also not conveying learning objectives. Learning objectives are the reactions and responses which the trainer expects from the learners. These responses can be of different kinds and at different levels all of which should be clarified in the statement of objectives. For example, if information-giving is an objective of the course, the statement should clarify whether it is intended to enlarge knowledge in particular areas, enhance understanding and comprehension of specific tasks, ensure long-term retention etc. The idea is to explain to the learner the significance of the information imparted and to convey to him as to what cognitive level of learning it is aiming at. Newspaper reading also gives information; but we seldom retain all that we read. In adult education, information intended for application and comprehension will have to be organized in such manner as to enable retention and repeated recall. Hence the need for stipulating the cognitive level of learning in clarifying objectives when information giving is an objective.
13.9.5 Similarly, another type of learning objective is change of attitudes which operates at the affective level of learning. It is a more challenging task in training. Attitude is a state of mind which reflects the value disposition and degree of commitment of the learner. In adult education, there are techniques available to influence these aspects of the character of the learner. Depending on learning objectives, they may be employed in pedagogy and motivation. They have to be identified and explained as objectives of the proposed training.
13.9.6 A third type of learning objective is at the level of behaviour. Ultimately every training expects behavioural change for which the trainer has to know the trainees, understand the milieu in which they operate and develop programmes in such a way as to strengthen the performance by playing on emotional and environmental factors. The statement of objectives should convey to the learner what behavioural changes are expected at the end of the training.
The stipulation of learning objectives should naturally evolve out of the learners' needs assessment. The objectives should be written out with clarity and specificity so that every learner understands what is offered and what it aims at. This will also help in evaluating the progress of learning and to adopt the training accordingly.
It is recommended that in the statement of objectives, the trainer avoids the use of terms such as "understand", "know" which are expressions difficult to verify or evaluate. On the other hand, if the statement of objectives were to say - "As a consequence of learning this module of the course, the learner will be able to conduct (verify, revise, negotiate, mediate, analyze, list, solve, construct, demonstrate, decide etc. etc.) sentence hearing in the spirit of the statutory parameters" - it is possible to measure learning and improve training strategies.
13.9.7 The National Judicial College, USA came out with a useful Practical Guide for Effective Presentation Strategies for Judicial Educators. It is an excellent summary of some preparatory steps which trainers have to undertake to maximise the usefulness and impact of training programmes. In writing this chapter of the report, consultation with the above publication has been useful and is acknowledged. (Alayne Casteel and Gordon I. Zimmerman, Faculty Course Development Guide, Reno, Nevada, 1997).
The above publication gives a checklist to assist the development of learning objectives. It includes :
(a) Are the objectives relevant to learner needs?
(b) Are the objectives consistent with the expertise of the instructor or instructors available in the institution?
(c) Are they stated in behavioural terms? i.e. in terms of what the learner should be able to do at the end of training or at the end of learning particular modules of the course?
(d) Are the objectives written in clear, unambigous and understandable language so that every learner, whatever his background, understands the same thing in the same sense?
(e) Are the objectives achievable (entirely or predominantly) given the available resources and support services, programme duration, size of the group etc.?
(f) Are the objectives stated in such a manner as to enable evaluation of learning outcomes?
It seems wherever trainers in Academies undertake so much of preparatory work in developing their programmes, it is bound to make a difference in the quality of training given and the impact it is likely to achieve in terms of training objectives.
Preparing Course Content and Structure :
13.9.8 In continuing education, generally, curriculum for induction training has to be excluded. It is, however, not possible to give uniform course content and structure for this type of training. But for promoted Civil Judges (Sr. Divn.) and District & Sessions Judges, the subjects which are relevant in their day-to-day administration of justice, must be identified. It may be stated that the coverage of all topics uniformly at the training in continuing education is not always necessary. Some topics may require more time and attention, while others can be left for self study and quick review. What is important is to accommodate some amount of flexibility in time and coverage, keeping the priority of the subjects appropriate to the needs of the Officers participating in a particular course. This course will have to be selected by the Academy concerned. However, we may broadly indicate the subjects, such as :
1. Law relating to Land Acquisition
i) Scope of enquiry
a) In reference regarding valuation
b) In reference regarding title.
ii) Principles governing award of compensation.
2. Principles to be
followed in awarding compensation in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims and Liability
of Insurer - Extent of such liability.
3. Appellate Court Powers
a) Civil Appeals
b) Criminal Appeals
4. Art of writing Judgement in an appeal.
5. Updating knowledge of case law.
6. Sessions Trials:
i) Appreciation of evidence
ii) Statutory presumptions in
a) Rape trials and problems in equal justice
b) Dowry death cases
c) Cases under Prevention of Corruption Act.
7. Law relating to Infringement of Trade Mark / Copy right - Passing of actions, etc.,
8. Technique on conciliation in the Marriage Disputes in Family Courts.
9. Gender Justice:
i) Women Equality and Law
ii) Domestic Violence Litigation
iii) Discrimination and Harassment of women at work place.
iv) Sex equality at the Bar and in the Courts.
In the recommended curriculum for Induction Training, each subject has been given specific number of credits to indicate the weightage assigned in terms of time, resources and importance. Similarly within a subject credits may be assigned to different modules to indicate the time and attention required to be devoted in the training. This depends on needs and objectives of the course concerned.
The structure in which topics are arranged and the style in which issues are framed can contribute a great deal in facilitating discussion in a focussed manner. The time and occasion in which interactive learning methods are employed also add to the maximisation of learning pace and opportunities. These are considered to be minor details and are often taken for granted in the usual course of business. However experience tells that more attention and detailed preparation in all these aspects contribute to better learning and greater success in training.
Methods in Refresher Courses :
13.9.9 The method that is usually employed in most of these courses is the Lecture-cum-Discussion. Lecture, no doubt, is useful provided the lecturer comes with adequate preparation and knows well the end-result to be achieved at the end of the session. No teaching even in one session can entirely be through lecture alone. Too much of continuous lecturing will severely limit the learning outcomes. There is no way of assessing how much the learner is learning in a straight lecture. As such, audience participation is invoked through questioning from either side. If the lecture is supported by visual aids like charts, slides and other visual demonstrations, the impact will be greater as attention will be focussed and sustained. Sometimes activities in the class where trainees are asked to take sides on a controversial proposition generate enthusiasm and participation. Sometimes distribution of a hand-out seeking written responses interrupting lecture can do some good in facilitating learning. Of course, use of black-boards, flip charts etc. are necessary even in lectures. Body language, conversational mode, eye contact, time management, pre-views and summaries of topic presented, humour and illustrations, repetitions and modulation of voice are all useful tips in improved lecture method of teaching.
Using transparencies with an overhead projector is a good practice provided the classroom has good facilities to give a clear view to all members of the group. Transparencies can be used to convey the lecture outline, facts of a case being studied, to raise issues for discussion, to present alternate responses, to suggest check list or guidelines and help review of the material.
Use of black-boards and flip charts is particularly beneficial in participatory learning. The instructor can write down in telegraphic language all the responses from the trainees to a question emphasising those which the instructor considers important. Of course, the writing should be clearly visible to everyone in the class.
Use of video-tapes can present difficult issues in perspective if the group is prepared in advance and necessary instructions in what to do while viewing are given to the trainees. Sometimes the video presentation may need to be stopped for a while to have a brief point raised which otherwise may escape their attention. Every video-presentation must be followed by a discussion on the information carried, messages conveyed and follow-up action required.
The Seminar or Group Discussion methods are appropriate for participatory learning in situations where the problems are complex and experiences are as important as perceptions and information. The moderator has an important role here as he can give an overview of the topic, identify key questions arising out of presentations and elicit alternate responses. If the group is large it can have "break-out" groups in which learners will get greater opportunities for participation. Break-out groups, after an hours' discussion on an issue, can assemble again in seminar/conference and report back. Good seminar leaders apprehend problems of group dynamics and do necessary ground work for maintaining enthusiasm and momentum.
The Panel Discussion by experts is effective to cover vast information on controversial issues and to engage the audience to interrogate received notions and to rethink on assumptions and conjectures. By intelligent and imaginative moderation, the teacher can apportion the time, emphasise the issues, complement the presentations, maintain the attention of the audience and co-ordinate the process for achieving the learning objectives. The Panelists should exchange thoughts with the moderator before the discussion takes place in order to sharpen the focus of the proceedings and to evoke participant interests. The moderator must get the questions from audience quickly and put it sharply to save time and to share the learning widely.
The "role playing" technique is another device which promotes interactive learning among adults. When there are different stake holders as in a court room, the role playing device can simulate an environment in which actors are forced to demonstrate their capacities in comprehension and application. Roles can be reversed and action repeated to give exposure to other dimensions. When challenged by other players, they are made to think of strategies and ethics along with knowledge and attitudes.
13.9.10 Course evaluation is to be an integral part of every continuing education programme. As far as possible, each subject should be separately evaluated. Evaluation can be oral or written or both. Evaluation is done by gathering trainee reactions to each topic, each speaker, general organization and reading materials supplied. On each item participants may be asked to give their rating in a seven point scale ranging from 1 to 7 or from poor to excellent. Besides, they may be asked to give their specific remarks as and when necessary.
Faculty members can also do the same exercise with necessary changes in the evaluation schedule. An evaluation by trainee judges after few weeks of the programme giving reflections on the course in the context of their professional work will bring out some ideas for improving the course for the future.
Course evaluation is primarily intended to assess the extent of learning. Secondly it serves to know the strengths and weaknesses of the course in order to improve future programmes. Thirdly it gives seriousness to the entire exercise and helps trainers and trainees to improve themselves in their tasks.
Continuing education courses are in a sense more difficult to organize purposefully because of the nature of participation and the range of issues they are expected to address. Nevertheless, that is the only strategy to equip the judiciary to respond to the needs of justice and to the legitimate demands of the public. Judicial Academies will get popular support to the extent they can fulfil this objective.
13.9.11 Preparing Training Designs : A Sample on Gender Justice
Gender Justice and Court Procedures :
An issue on which continuing education is widely recommended for judges at all levels is "Gender Bias in Courts". To design a series of training programmes in this regard, we need to know (a) actual training needs on the topic; (b) what the training can and should achieve (object); (c) the training design and structure; (d) the training methods and materials; and (e) the assessment or evaluation of training to give feed back on learning.
The subject can be dealt with in courses ranging between one day's duration to one month's duration. Ordinarily, a topic like this for in-service training cannot expect to have time of anything more than a week-end ie., about 2½ days beginning from a Friday afternoon and ending by Sunday evening. Serving judges of a given State may be sponsored by the High Court to participate in the Refresher Course of 2½ days' duration. Let us assume that 25 judges of the same cadre are nominated 6 to 8 weeks ahead of the commencement of the course. The question is what are the activities you, as a trainer, are going to propose in the time available in order to achieve a change in gender-based discrimination in courts and tribunals? What steps you will undertake to design an appropriate programme?
13.9.12 Consider the following sample design, critique it with a view to improving upon it and re-design for your purpose.
TITLE OF REFRESHER COURSE
CONTINUING EDUCATION WORKSHOP ON "GENDER BIAS
IN THE COURTS"
District and Additional District Judges
nominated by the High Court - Limited to twenty five participants - Residential.
VENUE AND DURATION :
2½ days - Week-end - At Judicial Academy
SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES :
Judges are obliged by the Constitution, the laws and oath of office to avoid gender bias not only in their own decision-making but also in court interactions on which they preside. Despite this obligation and occasional outcry from feminist groups and the media, there is a substantial body of evidence indicating continued sex-based discrimination in courts vitiating the commitment for equal justice under law. Much of it is the product of received myths and misconceptions, discriminatory laws and customs and the prevailing notions of cultural stereotypes in society.
There is some data available today on the nature and extent of gender-based problems in our courts and how individual judges have been trying to eliminate gender bias in courts with varying degrees of success. This course is intended to examine such data with a view to evolve capacities, strategies and attitudes in presiding officers of courts to eliminate them from judicial processes.
The course is specifically designed to enable participants -
(a) to identify instances of gender bias in court proceedings which are often not noticed or if noticed, not considered to be warranting judicial attention;
(b) to effectively intervene and rule on gender issues arising in court proceedings;
(c) to write judgments avoiding gender bias; and
(d) to promote practices conducive to equal justice in court administration and trial.
Day One 2 PM - 2.30 PM Session I
- Introduction of faculty and participants.
- Discussion on methodology - Roles and Responsibilities for the successful conduct of the workshop.
2.30 PM - 3.30 PM Session II
Lecture - Discussion on "Women, Equality and Law"
Faculty : A law professor familiar with issues of equality debate and an expert in laws relating to women.
Reading Materials :
i) Select constitutional and statutory provisions on Gender Justice.
ii) Excerpts from select reports and studies on the subject.
Note : This is a perspective session aimed at refreshing the information of judges on the problems of inequality women face in society and in the judicial system (Based on selected empirical data listed in reading materials). The session will also acquaint the judges of what the legal responses have been and how they have fallen short of the standard of commitment to equal justice (Based on relevant statutory provisions, judicial decisions and expert committee findings included in reading materials).
The lecture will be limited to half the time of the session and will be interspersed with visual material with the help of OHP or slide projector.
The synopsis of the lecture raising the issues will be circulated to participants in advance and participants will be encouraged to react, thus making the very first session interactive, though in a limited way.
The discussion is likely to spill over to the coffee break giving a momentum to the workshop and an active environment for the sessions to follow.
3.30 PM - 4.00 PM Break for Refreshments
4.00 PM - 7.00 PM Session III
Topic : Domestic Violence Litigation and Gender Justice Issues
Faculty : Two pre-selected participants of whom one is a woman, a judge of the High Court having reputation for sensitivity to women's rights and the trainer of the Academy in charge of the course.
Reading Materials :
(1) Edited cases relating to dowry death.
(2) Selected excerpts from case files relating to divorce and separation
(3) Research studies and Law Commission Reports; relevant portions only
(4) Excerpts from Sakshi study on Judicial Survey of Attitudes (1996).
Teaching Methods :
- Short presentations on the problems and issues;
- Moot Court/Role playing;
- Break-out meetings in small groups analyzing select issues and reporting back;
- Summing up by the trainer-moderator.
Note : This session has four objectives -
(1) for participants to reflect on perceived injustices in law and procedure relating to domestic violence;
(2) provide perspectives on possible alternate courses of action open to the court which can be more equitable in domestic relations situations;
(3) enable the participants to appreciate evidence with a gender perspective; and
(4) understand the importance of being sensitive in taking depositions, issuing interim orders, giving adjournments, writing judgments and invoking services of other professionals (social work, medicine, forensic experts) in domestic violence cases.
Participants will be encouraged to write down their impressions on the two sessions held in the afternoon and turn in their comments on the following day which will form part of the evaluation.
Day Two 9.30 AM - 12.30 PM Session IV
Topic : Rape Trials and Problems in Equal Justice
Faculty : A Prosecutor with expertise in conducting rape trials and a Defense lawyer preferably a woman; a High Court Judge who has written opinions in rape appeals and a woman activist familiar with issues of gender justice in sexual violence cases.
Reading Materials :
(1) Edited case files of rape cases where injustice is perceived by women's groups.
(2) Excerpts of Law Commission Reports and Parliamentary Debates on amendment of rape law.
(3) Selected articles, research studies and media reports on health and psychological problems associated with rape.
(4) Statistics on incidence of rape, conviction rates etc.
Teaching Methods :
The session will begin with a short video-clipping on the trauma of rape victims and medical opinions on the problems arising therefrom.
It will then be followed by short presentations on the experience of prosecutors and defense lawyers in conducting rape trials.
The discussion will then be initiated by the social activist focussing on what women expect from the courts, prosecutors and defense attorneys. The trainer who moderates the discussion will seek division of the house on controversial issues with a view to involve the judges at an affective level. He would also provide comparative perspectives from other jurisdictions with the help of charts and transparencies.
The High Court judge will then reflect on why and where appellate courts intervene in trial court judgments and what High Court expects the trial court to do in respect of gender equality in rape and related sexual violence. The participants will be encouraged to question the interpretations taken by the appellate courts.
Expected outcomes of the Session :
This session is bound to be lively involving almost every participant. At the end of the three hour-long session participants will get -
(a) ability to appreciate the grievances often aired by women's groups in respect of rape trials;
(b) perspectives on the need to have a wider knowledge base to be able to conduct rape trials fairly and equitably;
(c) willingness to correct tendency to underestimate the injury to the victim and to bestow misplaced sympathy to offenders;
(d) opportunity to sharpen skills for better appreciation and interpretation of evidence including expert testimony; and
(e) confidence to control court interactions which tend to prejudice the victim.
12.30 PM - 2.00 PM Lunch Break
2.00 PM - 5.30 PM Session V
Topic : Marriage Disputes and the Matrimonial (Family) Court
Faculty : A Senior Family Court Judge, a Family Counsellor (Conciliator) attached to the Family Court and two pre-selected participants with experience in matrimonial jurisdiction.
Reading Materials :
(1) Edited case file materials on divorce, maintenance and child custody cases.
(2) Excerpts of Law Commission Reports, Research studies and socio-legal reports on matrimonial litigations highlighting gender justice issues.
Teaching Methods :
Session to begin with a 30 minute Moot Court of arguments in a trial case - Trainer to present the facts in advance and introduce the two participants who will represent the parties. The Family Court Judge to preside - After judgment, participants to raise questions and offer comments for 30 minutes.
The Family Court Judge is then to give a presentation on how the Family Court is different from an ordinary civil court in the matter of gender justice. Participants to offer comments on how far conciliation/counselling can be a necessary part of all matrimonial cases and what are the skills and attitudes necessary therefor.
The last one hour of the session will be small group conciliation/counselling exercises on assigned matrimonial petitions in which the participants will play roles and record their experiences in the exercise.
Expected Outcomes :
Besides acquainting the judges on the peculiar problems experienced by women in matrimonial proceedings, this session will (a) expose the participants to the skills necessary to deal sensitively on matrimonial disputes; (b) help identify usual prejudices associated with dealing such litigation; (c) promote understanding of the dynamics of inter-personal relations in marriage which should help in negotiating mediated settlements; (d) provide ideas from behavioural sciences on how to deal with child custody matters while being fair and just to the woman involved.
As on the previous day, participants will be asked to write down their specific comments on a proforma circulated in respect of what they learnt or failed to learn in the two sessions. The proforma will be so prepared as to probe the extent of gender sensitization of the respondents in respect of a criminal proceeding as well as a civil proceeding (rape and divorce/custody).
Day Three 9.30 AM - 12.30 PM Session VI
Topic : Discrimination and Harassment of Women at Work Place
Faculty : A woman trade unionist, a member of the Women's Commission, a High Court Judge experienced in labour disputes and a woman journalist reporting on women's issues.
Reading Materials :
(1) Selected judgments on sexual harassment at work place and on Equal Remuneration Act.
(2) Reports on discrimination in employment.
Teaching Methods :
The session will start with a little quiz on participants' perspectives and beliefs on discrimination and harassment of women at work place. Using the flip chart the trainer will consolidate the responses in the class in such a way as to project the range of gender-based prejudices and problems.
This will be followed by a Panel Discussion amongst the faculty, each highlighting one or other dimension of the problem. The moderator will focus attention of the group on major biases and injustices raised keeping in focus the role of the judge in moderating or aggravating the impact of such biases on womens' right to equal treatment and dignity.
The final part of the session will be devoted to small group interactions on writing out a code of judicial conduct in reducing gender-based inequalities in dealing with employment-related disputes and in court administration.
Note : At the end of this session, participants will have (a) clearer understanding of who and where women experience discrimination in work places, (b) acquire minimum skills to be able to correct the imbalances when such disputes come before them and (c) help provide a more gender-friendly atmosphere in the courts.
12.30 PM - 2.00 PM Lunch Break
2.00 PM - 3.30 PM Session VII
Topic : Sex Equality at the Bar and in the Courts
Faculty : Chairman of the Bar Council/Bar Association, representative of the Women's Bar, and two participants of whom one to be a woman.
Teaching Methods :
The Session will largely be based on brief presentations by the Faculty. However, the initial few minutes will be devoted in ascertaining the perceptions of participants on what they consider to be the state of affairs at the bar and in court proceedings. The participants will be asked to write in a piece of paper three instances which in their belief can be discriminatory of women in the bar room, court offices and in court transactions including trial.
Expected outcomes :
Besides sensitizing the judges on the problem in their own midst, the session will help in drawing up a judicial code of conduct to create a more gender-neutral atmosphere not only to women lawyers and judges, but also women litigants, women witnesses and women employees of courts. Judges will begin to realize the need to adopt gender-neutral language, avoid sexist remarks, renounce double standards wherever they exist and to respect women's dignity particularly of those belonging to minority sections of the population.
3.30 PM - 4.00 PM Break for Refreshments
4.00 PM - 5.00 PM Session VIII
Evaluation and Valediction
Points to Consider :
There can be many variations of the above design depending upon the specific needs of participants, time available for training and resources which the Academy commands. The point to be noted is that a well-thought-out training design is a pre-requisite for the success of in-service training. Such design should necessarily be based on a needs assessment on which specific objectives to be achieved by each session/module should be spelt out clearly. Participants should be involved as much as possible for which the training methods should be varied and interesting. Lectures ought to be kept to the minimum and each session should be co-taught by a balanced mix of experts carefully chosen and adequately briefed on the expected outcomes of their respective sessions.
Too much of reading materials even if distributed will not be read. As such, careful selection and proper editing should be done well in advance. For a course of 2½ days' duration, it is prudent to contain the reading materials to about 100 neatly typed A-4 size pages. The reading materials should be supplied in bold print with titles and sub-titles and, wherever possible, with short catch notes/summary of points. Additional reading materials may be listed after every module/topic and such materials may be kept in reserve in the library for participants to browse through. Some participants are likely to take special interest in topics of their choice and would be wanting to learn more on their return to their respective stations. Certainly they would be wanting to consult as many materials as are available on a given proposition as and when the issue confronts them in the course of their professional work. The reference list given in the reading materials will be the initial resource to fall back upon.
As far as possible at least a small number of participants must be invariably asked to read the materials in advance and to react in each session so that those who have not read the materials will also be benefitted. It is a good strategy to force participants to bring the materials in class and consult relevant pages occasionally during the session.
Evaluation in a prepared proforma at the end of each day will be more beneficial rather than be content with a general evaluation at the end of the course.
If the course were to be repeated, few of those judges who were participants in the earlier course may be invited as faculty for the succeeding course.
There may be an opinion that what is presented here for a 2½ day course is rather too heavy and taxing to the ordinarily overworked judges who expect some relief and relaxation in a week-end retreat. It is important that continuing education to succeed must endeavour to remove such impressions which have been created all around from the way they are conducted at present. These are costly exercises and the benefits should outweigh the costs if they have to be sustained with public support. As such, it is desirable to make it tight involving the participants in some or other useful activity all the time available. By corresponding with participants well before their arrival at the academy, they should be prepared to put in their effort and time totally for their own benefit.
On an average, every judicial academy should offer at least one hundred residential continuing education programmes of short and long duration (week-end courses and week-long courses) every year catering to at least 500 to 600 judges. If the facilities and resources immediately available are not adequate for the task, academies may consider the strategy adopted by the Gujarat High Court under Hon'ble Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal's initiative. It is called mobile academy for training of judicial officers under which the trainers will reach out to each locality rather than asking the trainees to come to the headquarters. Every week-end the team moved to district and tehsil towns where the judges of the locality assembled to receive continuing education packages.
Nothing short of a crash, massive, organized effort can achieve the objectives of preparing the judiciary for the urgent tasks awaiting attention.
13.9.13 Training the Staff of Courts :
Another major activity, judicial academies
should undertake to improve efficiency and productivity is the training
(induction and in-service) to be given to senior members of the ministerial
staff of courts. Without their willing and competent support services, judges
would not be able to accomplish the goals of judicial education and training.
Today no worthwhile training is available to them and they operate by and large
in the same way as they were doing their job in pre-Independence days. Added to
such archaic methods, corruption and indiscipline have crept in making the
judicial system the most slow, increasingly costly and unnecessarily complex
wing of the Government. The judicial establishment even today is untouched by
the management information revolutions which have overtaken many sectors of life
It is to be noted that with the expert inputs
from the management people, this Commission is making recommendations to
transform the judicial establishment computer-friendly and management-driven to
achieve results in the next few years. As part of this package, training of
court staff is likely to come out strongly for early implementation. This
report, therefore, has not discussed on the training of non-judicial personnel
of the court system excepting to say that it should evolve simultaneously with
the training of judges.
ORGANISATION OF ACADEMIES FOR EXCELLENCE IN JUDICIAL EDUCATION
13.10.1 Though individuals are responsible in
building institutions, it is the structure, character and traditions of
institutions which can sustain and improve standards of performance long after
the promoters have disappeared from the scene. The goals set, the traditions
built, the work culture developed, the extent of academic freedom provided and
the type of core team of trainers initially assembled will largely determine the
potential of the Academy to deliver and deliver it well. As such, great deal of
attention has to be bestowed in selecting the Faculty and giving necessary
autonomy to the Academy. It cannot be kept as an appendage of the High Courts
almost entirely dominated by judges who may not have the time or interest to
look after the efficient working of the Academy. Teaching is different from
judging and the two should not be mixed up if teaching and research have to be
competitively superior and the institution has to assume a character and status
of its own.
13.10.2 The organization may assume one of different models. It can be created under an independent statute in which case it will not only enjoy the required autonomy but also can, if desired, shape up into a university which can award degrees in judicial administration or court management. The Judicial Academy in Bangladesh is established under a statute of that country's Parliament. Another model is that adopted by the National Judicial Academy in India which is formed as a registered society with limited membership mostly of judges and officials of the Government of India which provides the funds. A third model is what prevails in many of the States under which through an Executive Order, an academy is established under the joint control of the High Court and the Department of Law of the State Government. The money comes from either the High Court budget or grant from the Law Department. A variation of this model is the Directorate of Training sponsored as a unit under the direct control of the High Court.
Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. A uniform model is perhaps not practical even if desirable. Whatever the organization, a State academy can function effectively only if some basic principles are adhered to. These include :
(a) The State Academy must have a highly qualified, well motivated full-time Director who will have the status and remuneration equivalent to that of a Chief Justice of a High Court and a tenure of not less than five years;
(b) The Academy must have a core faculty of at least five professors with salaries and perquisites equivalent to that of High Court Judge, six Associate Professors with salaries and perquisites equivalent to that of a District Judge and few Lecturers/Tutors with status equivalent to that of CJM/Civil Judge. The visiting (Guest) Faculty will be invited as required. If the staff is drawn on deputation from the Judiciary, they must serve the Academy for a minimum period of five years. The ideal situation will be that half the faculty (all ranks) may be recruited from the judiciary and the other half from legal academics, legal practitioners and social scientists with pronounced interest in the legal system and having pedagogic abilities.
(c) The Academy should have an independent Board of Governors with Chief Justice of the High Court as Chairman and members drawn from the High Court, District Courts, Government and the Bar. While Judicial /Legal members can constitute two-thirds of the Board, one-third can come from other categories.
(d) The Academy should have an independent budget approved by the Board of Governors. On a rough estimate, the annual budget of a State Academy for optimum efficiency will be in the range of 3 crores of rupees. It is important that the administrative staff should be kept to the minimum. For a Faculty of 15 to 20 persons in an academy, the support staff including Registrar, Librarian and Finance Officer may well be kept below 30 persons. The strategy is to pool vehicles, stenographers and research persons and getting work organized through mechanised communication systems and contracted out security, cleaning and messenger services. The culture of Government departments and other judicial establishments is not conducive to promotion of academic excellence.
(e) Academic autonomy is the key to academic excellence. If competent staff are put in place, they may be given the power to design and execute the courses under exacting standards of accountability. If the faculty is kept on contract terms, those who are unable to deliver may be able to be discharged after due notice. Let it not be an extension of Government service where security is guaranteed for every one including those who work and those who do not. A Committee of the Board of Governors should periodically evaluate teacher performance in a transparent manner according to criteria agreed to earlier. If the work is found unsatisfactory the teacher may be reduced in rank or his remuneration be reduced, if discharge is considered unnecessary.
A new work culture which is exacting, business-like, and performance-oriented if not generated in the Academies, it will end up like mediocre, self-serving white elephants of the kind we have plenty in this country. The practice of sending people out from parent departments to training institutions when they are unproductive or otherwise not desired in service is to be totally abandoned if training is to become serious exercise directed towards efficiency and excellence.
Structure and Co-ordination
10.3 The organization of a State Academy can by and large participate the following model if it should have the potential to develop into a centre for excellence in judicial education and training.
(Chairman, Board of Governors)
Staff Selection Committee
(15 persons of whom 4 including the
C.J. from High Court, 2 senior most
District Judges, 2 Government nominees of whom one to be the Law Secretary, Chairman of the Bar Council, the Advocate General of the State, the Dean of the Law Faculty of one of the Universities in the State and 4 from among the staff of the Academy including the 2 Directors. The Director (A) to be ex-officio Secretary of the Board)
Faculty Evaluation Committee
DIRECTOR 'A' (Administration & Finance)
Committee on Grievances
(All academic staff to be members) Directors 'A' and
'B' to preside alternately the
Council which is the executive body of the Academy.
Committee on Finance
Committee on Training
Committee on Research & Development
An organization simple, transparent and
participatory like the one suggested above can keep the functioning informed and
co-ordinated. It provides a structure which is democratic and at the same time
leaves operational freedom to every group and individual in assigned spheres of
the collective enterprise.
Though the Directors are executive officers of
the organization they are accountable to the Staff Council. Being an academic
institution it makes sense in making all academic staff irrespective of the
ranks they hold to be members of the Staff Council. There is no need for
administrative members to be members in the Staff Council as their
representation can always be had through Director (A). In cases of complaints,
the Grievances Committee can always probe and recommend necessary corrective
action. Unnecessary hierarchy of posts and positions in academic institutions
concentrating the decision making power tends to destroy institutional
integrity, promote factional interests and undermine the capacity of the
institution for academic excellence. Similarly avoidable external controls on
routine matters even if they come from superior judges are unwelcome for
institutional development and faculty performance. Such supervision can be
streamlined through the Board meetings, appointment of investigating committees
wherever necessary and evaluating performance critically demanding
accountability from each and every individual in the staff of the Academy.
13.10.4 The annual budget of the Academy for running expenses is expected to be of the order of rupees three crores to begin with. This may increase in the course of time with expanded activities and inflation. In any case, by 2010 the annual budget is unlikely to exceed rupees five crores if staff appointments are strictly controlled and prudent financial management introduced. A tentative break-up of major items of expenditure assuming the budget to be rupees three crores, is given below :
1. Salaries (Academic Staff)
Directors Rs.30,000 p.m., Professors Rs.25,000 p.m., Associate Professors Rs.20,000 p.m. and Assistant Professors (Lecturers) Rs.15,000 p.m. and Guest Faculty @ Rs.10,000 p.m. - Total of 20 persons of all ranks will come to Rs. 60 lakhs annually.
2. Salaries (Administrative Staff) ... Rs. 40 lakhs per year
3. Library and Equipments ... Rs. 100 lakhs per year
4. Maintenance, Utilities and Services ... Rs. 50 lakhs per year
5. Guest House, Hostels and Miscellaneous... Rs. 50 lakhs per year
Of course, the above is too sketchy a budget and adjustments may have to be made within it or some excess (in any case not to exceed Rs. 5 crores even after 5 years of operation) will have to be provided for unforeseen expenses. This is estimated on the assumption that the Academy will have the Campus built, furnished and provided with minimum equipment. It is also assumed that the full complement of the faculty in terms of staff will be about 20 full-time academic personnel, 30 administrative personnel and 10 to 15 visiting/guest faculty.
If the Academy takes up extra training or research projects it will be fully financed by the sponsors which will bring in a certain percentage of institutional fee also to the Academy. Any growth in activities should be on the basis of self-generated funds for which specific guidelines may be evolved by the Board of Governors.
It may be noted that the budget of the judicial academy is recommended to be balanced as follows :
(a) Salaries - one-third
(b) Library & Equipments - one-third and
(c) Maintenance & Consummable items - one-third
If this proportion is not acceptable, the Staff Council should make out a case why it should be varied from and in what proportions. Financial discipline self-imposed and self-supervised can bring in better results in a small organization than the style found in large offices under the Government. It may also be noted that the staff are reasonably well paid according to current market rates and the differences in salaries between different ranks are not very substantial. It should also be possible for an Assistant Professor to rise to the level of Professor in about 10 to 12 years provided his performance is commendable. For a Professor the incentive is in terms of recognition/awards, consultancy work from outside under pre-arranged conditions and fully paid research projects for which he can employ separate staff provided the time devoted by him to the project is within permissible limits.
National Judicial Academy and State Academies :
13.10.5 It was the dominant opinion of judges
in the country that a
Training the Trainers :
13.10.6 One of the priority tasks for the NJA
is to train about 100 trainers to manage the State Academies in the next couple
of years. In this task the NJA may seek advice or assistance of some of the best
run judicial academies of some of the developed countries. The
The structure of academic activities of the
LBS National Academy of Administration at Mussorie and the
The NJA in turn, has to perform a catalytic role in upgrading the existing State Academies and in establishing such institutions in States where there are none at present. Till such time States are able to launch such institutions, NJA may have to cater to the needs for training of judicial officers of such States which may be organized by the NJA in the respective States themselves. The strategy is a national projection of the "Academy on Wheels" initiated sometime ago by the Gujarat High Court for subordinate judges in the State who could not be spared for long periods to undergo training in institutions outside their headquarters.
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