judicial training

Courses on climate change law, environmental law, open judges’ eyes to the coming storm

New awareness of climate change and litigation associated with it, has dramatically changed the perception of over 20 judges who attended a training course on environmental law and climate change law under the auspices of Jifa last month. Almost all of them started out unsure of what climate change law actually is, and doubting whether they would ever be involved in litigation concerning climate change.

Judges arrived for Jifa’s recent training on environmental law and climate change law, a little confused. Most knew about environmental law and some had even dealt with cases that raised issues of environmental law. But what was climate change law? Was it something different? Another branch of environmental law, perhaps? Might it actually even be the same thing? And what could the role of the judiciary be in relation to climate change? – Surely it was something that international organisations dealt with, rather than domestic courts?

Innovative Kenyan judgment on Presidential inaction should be studied by other jurisdictions - Justice Mathilda Twomey

The decision of a Kenyan judge has won high praise from trainers at a recent judicial core skills workshop by the Judicial Institute for Africa (JIFA), held in Cape Town and attended by judges from 12 African countries. The decision, by high court judge Enoch Mwita, dealt with a situation in which the President of the country, Uhuru Kenyatta, was held to have ignored the constitution by failing to appoint a member of the Judicial Service Commission.

Read judgment

One of the features of the core skills judicial training offered participants by the Judicial Institute for Africa (JIFA) is a one-to-one session in which a judge is offered feedback by a course faculty member on a decision he or she has already delivered.

The idea is to look at judgment structure and other issues covered during the workshops and, against that background, to offer constructive suggestions.  

Training Tanzania’s judiciary on gender issues - the struggle, and the partial success

Training of judges and magistrates is an accepted tool to deal with built-in opinions and prejudices. In the same way, training can also be crucial in highlighting inaccurate preconceptions about gender issues. In her chapter forming part of the new work, Gender, Judging and the Courts in Africa, Juliana Masabo (a Tanzanian high court judge and former academic) takes readers through the difficulties in ensuring training for judges, magistrates and others who play a role in the court processes of Tanzania.

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