Commonwealth workshop Workshop no 4 by 8TUgK1


									                        WORKSHOP GROUP NO. 4


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


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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