The purpose of the Judicial Studies Committee is to facilitate the continuing education and training of judges. These are key components in supporting one of the pillars of the Council, namely excellence by judges in carrying out their judicial functions.
It is intended that the Council, through this Committee, will work to reach and surpass the standards of judicial training established in comparable states. Given the importance of the creation of a modern learning and development function for the Irish judiciary some work was done by a small group of judges in advance of the formal establishment of the committee.
The Judicial Council Act provides that the Judicial Council nominate a date for establishment of this Committee at its first meeting. That date must be within three months of the first meeting of the Council.
Section 17 of the Judicial Council Act 2019 provides that this Committee may
- prepare and distribute relevant materials to judges,
- publish material relevant to its function,
- provide, or assist in the provision of, education and training on matters relevant to the exercise by judges of their functions, including but not limited to-
- dealing with persons in respect of whom it is alleged an offence has been committed,
- the conduct of trials by jury in criminal proceedings,
- European Union law and international law,
- human rights and equality law,
- information technology , and
- the assessment of damages in respect of personal injuries, and
- establish, maintain and improve communication with –
- bodies representing judges appointed to courts of places other than the State, and
- international bodies representing judges.
The terms of reference governing the work and membership of the Committee were decided upon by the Judicial Council at its first meeting.
The membership is as follows
Mr Justice John MacMenamin
Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Chairperson
Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty, Director of Judicial Studies
Ms Justice Niamh Hyland
Judge Mary O Malley Costello
Judge Paul Kelly, President of the District Court
Judge Marie Quirke
The Committee will develop its own procedures and its strategy to deliver its objectives.