Continuous education of judges, court personnel and candidate judges: foreign and national best practices

Jul 22, 2016

A round table discussion on international and national best practices of continuous education of judges and court personnel was held at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The round table was organized by the joint project of the Supreme Court, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan” within the framework of international consultancy of expert on the rule of law and access to justice Joanna Brooks (United Kingdom).

The competency of judges in unified application of legal acts and their awareness of the changes and amendments in the legislative framework puts a significant influence on the quality of justice delivery. In accordance with the “Rules of ethical conduct of judges”, the judges are responsible for maintenance of their professional qualifications on highest level and continuous improvement of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. In fact, continuous education and capacity building is among the most important functions of judges.

Considering, the impact of the capacity building of judges on the enhancement of the rule of law, the joint project has initiated the foreign and national experience study on continuous education and capacity building of judges and court personnel, as well as the drafting of the “Concept of the further improvement of mechanisms of professional development of judges, candidates to judges’ positions and court personnel”. The drafting of the Concept is carried out by the group of local experts consisting of the representatives of the Supreme Court, Supreme Economic Court, Lawyers’ Training Center under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Tashkent State Law University, together with the international expert on the rule of law and access to justice Joanna Brooks.

Over the course of the round table, the international expert presented the results of her foreign experience study of the best practices in education and capacity building of sitting judges, candidate judges and court personnel in such countries as France, Germany, Japan and Korea. In her speech, Joanna Brooks emphasized that «the system of judicial training and education in Uzbekistan has been improved through the introduction of international standards and best practices and is one of the leading examples in the Central Asia region, as well as in the wider region». She also stated that «some of the trends that we are seeing globally in judicial education include the use of psychological testing as part of the selection criteria in the appointment of judges, strengthening judicial writing skills and make full use of the opportunities that ICT provides. Performance assessments and the use of competency frameworks are also issues that are being discussed and applied».

The local experts have also presented the results of their study and analysis of the existing system of education and capacity building of judges, candidate judges and court personnel in Uzbekistan.

It is expected that the “Concept of the further improvement of mechanisms of professional development of judges, candidates to judges’ positions and court personnel” with a focus on introduction of ICTs into courts. The Concept will serve as a basis for improvement of the existing system of education and capacity building of the judicial staff, and will result in building of exceptionally qualified and competent judiciary in the country.

*Joanna Brooks (United Kingdom) is international expert in rule of law and access to justice, with focus on judicial education and capacity building. Joanna Brooks possesses more than 15 years of professional experience in project implementation and research in improvement of judicial systems in such countries as Serbia, Norway, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and others. It should be noted, that Joanna Brooks had visited Uzbekistan in 2013 in the process of preparation of “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan” project document. 

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