European Union : Fundamental principles on judicial training 2016


Gathered at the General Assembly of the European Judicial Training Network on the 10th June 2016, the institutions responsible for training the judges and prosecutors of the 28 Member States of the European Union solemnly adopted nine fundamental principles on judicial training.

Adopted unanimously in a joint statement, these principles acknowledge the importance and specificity of the training from which judges and prosecutors should benefit in democratic societies. Guarantee of competence and professionalism, the judicial training is indeed essential for legal professionals to perform their duties with efficiency and legitimacy.

While strengthening the individual judicial actors, such training contributes fully to ensuring the independence of justice and the protection of the rights it is called to ensure.

This declaration reminds the importance of a specific training prior to taking any function and throughout the professional career of judges and prosecutors. It stresses that judicial training must not be limited to legal education but deliver professional skills and values. It calls the Member States to render possible an effective training of judges and reminds them that it is also their responsibility to undertake it. Finally, it reiterates the importance of the support of the highest judicial authorities in the training process.

This statement was also adopted by the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ), which brings together the Judicial Councils of the 28 Member States of the European Union.

The nine judicial training principles now constitute both the common base and the horizon uniting all the judicial schools of the European Union, beyond the diversity of legal systems and the training modes of the judges and prosecutors in Europe.

EJTN encourages the judicial training institutions of the European Union to use these principles as a foundation and source of inspiration, but also as a common framework guiding their judicial training activities.

They are also intended to guide and inspire the training of individual judges and prosecutors in the European Union, but also judicial training institutions from outside wishing to adopt its standards.

The EJTN General Assembly unanimously approved on the 10th June 2016 in Amsterdam the following judicial training principles while acknowledging that they should also apply to prosecutors in so far as they belong to the national “corps

Judicial Training Principles

1. Judicial training is a multidisciplinary and practical type of training, essentially intended for the transmission of professional techniques and values complementary to legal education.

2. All judges and prosecutors should receive initial training before or on their appointment.

3. All judges and prosecutors should have the right to regular continuous training after appointment and throughout their careers and it is their responsibility to undertake it. Every Member State should put in place systems that ensure judges and prosecutors are able to exercise this right and responsibility.

4. Training is part of the normal working life of a judge and a prosecutor. All judges and prosecutors should have time to undertake training as part of the normal working time, unless it exceptionally jeopardises the service of justice.

5. In accordance with the principles of judicial independence the design, content and delivery of judicial training are exclusively for national institutions responsible for judicial training to determine.

6. Training should primarily be delivered by judges and prosecutors who have been previously trained for this purpose.

7. Active and modern educational techniques should be given primacy in judicial training.

8. Member States should provide national institutions responsible for judicial training with sufficient funding and other resources to achieve their aims and objectives.

9. The highest judicial authorities should support judicial training.

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