Back to school for judges says JSB

JUDGES may have to attend college before sitting on the bench if one of the proposals considered by the Judicial Studies Board's internal review is taken up.

Chair of the board Lord Justice Henry will head the steering group, which is conducting a review of the board's structure, resources and activities.

The current system of training judges is carried out on an ad hoc basis by a number of bodies including the board and the Lord Chancellor's Department.

The notion of establishing a judicial college has been mooted for some time, and has gained growing support among the profession and the judiciary.

The group will report in three months' time with its recommendations on the range of the board's activities, how it is to meet priority training needs and the best kind of organisational structure to work efficiently and effectively.

“We have steadily expanded what we do to help judges,” says Lord Justice Henry.

“It is the right time to see if there is a need to do more and whether we have the right structure and resources to do the job.”

The other members of the steering group are Mr Justice Johnson, former Law Commissioner Mr Justice Buxton, Judge Pitchers, Professor Martin Partington of Bristol University and Robin Holmes from the LCD. The board operates through five committees responsible for training.