Judges pro Woolf reforms, says incoming head of JSB

JUDGES are reacting to the Woolf reforms with “increasing enthusiasm”, according to the future director of studies of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB).

Judges attending one-day seminars on the implications of the report have reacted warmly to the proposals, said Paul Collins, a circuit judge on the South Eastern Circuit, who takes up the post at the JSB on 1 October.

Preparations for the Woolf reforms include 10 one-day seminars this year and 10 three-day seminars next year for all judges. Part of Collins' role is to direct the content of them.

“Judges from the High Court to the district courts will all be sitting down to discuss this together and that is one of the most interesting things about these seminars,” said Collins.

Promoting awareness of ethnic minority issues would continue to be a large part of the JSB's work, while the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights would be one of the biggest challenges faced by the board in the future, he added.

Collins replaces Judge Christopher Pitchers, a judge on the Midland and Oxford Circuit, as JSB head.