WORKSHOP GROUP NO. 4 THE IMPORTNACE OF MENTORING FOR NEWLY APPOINTED JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND THE TRAINING OF JUDICIAL MENTORS IN ORDER TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIARY. Chairperson: Hon Justice Booshan Domah Rapporteur: His Honour Mr Raj Pentiah The above said group workshop was held on 26th June 2004. The participants were from the following countries, namely: Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and Mauritius. The objectives of the workshop were: (a) to identify the benefits of mentoring as an essential training for a new appointee that he or she may know and make the difference between practicing and judging, the life at the bar and the life on the bench, the concept of law and that of justice; (b) to demonstrate the need for a peer culture, collegiality, continuous judicial training in the noble ideas on the profession of judging; and (c) to organize judicial work in such a way that the new appointees are imbued with the correct principles from the very start as they build up a career in the judiciary doing justice to the justice system under the rule of law. And at the end, the participants had the task of explaining if any form of mentoring was required: (i) the who’s of the mentoring component i.e. who is to provide mentoring; (ii) the what’s of mentoring i.e what should the mentoring intervention consist of; (iii) the when’s of mentoring i.e when should mentoring be provided; (iv) the where’s of mentoring i.e where should mentoring be provided; and (v) the how’s of the mentoring I.e how should mentoring be provided. The general consensus was that some form of training/mentoring was necessary for newly appointed judicial officers in order to: (i) provide them with the necessary support and guidance to discharge their duties diligently; (ii) guide them to adopt well founded boundaries defined by the rule of law and the appropriate legal and philosophical principles underpinning their culture, society and the notion of what is just in discharging their duties; and (iii) encourage consistency and continuity in the decision making process of the judiciary. While several participants on the one hand gave examples of well structured formal training for newly appointed judicial officers in their countries-on the other hand participants from a number of jurisdictions stated that there was not any provision for the training of newly appointed judicial officers. However, q word of caution was echoed lengthily amidst the participants who considered that formal training or mentoring per se may not be the solution to the daily pragmatic issues emerging or arising on the professional path of a newly appointed judicial officer. The more so, it was argued that any form of for,al training of newly appointed judicial officers bear the inherent risk of producing judicial eunuchs – when the desired judicial officer should be someone with an open and critical mind. Rather than an informal input was favoured in a peer culture, from a practical point of view to enhance collegiality, consistency and continuity in the noble ideals of the profession of judging. In the light of the above, the participants agreed to the following: as to who’s mentoring - the mentor should be experienced, specialized, skilled, capable, accessible and a person of integrity; as to what should the mentoring consist of – the participants decided that the input of the mentor should not be just law; it was not a school of law which was being sought but a mentor with practical guidelines and real live solutions to daily professional occurring issues, including ethical issues and measures dealing with perceptions of corruption; as to when should the mentoring be provided – it was decided that it should definitely be at the beginning but also the need for continuous training was felt; as ro where should the mentoring be provided – it was decided that the input should be at the work place preferably as one would be able to see and experience the arising problems and subsequently how they were solved; and finally, as to how the mentoring was to be carried out – the participants stated that ‘human contact’ was vital. There was a need for the newly appointed judicial officer to be in contact with his mentor physically for effective monitoring as opposed to rely on the telephone or any other means of communication.
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