Academic journal article The Review of Litigation

Peer Group Consultations as a Judicial Training Model

Academic journal article The Review of Litigation

Peer Group Consultations as a Judicial Training Model

Article excerpt

Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.

- CONFUCIUS, 450 B.C.

[T]here is an intimate and necessary relation between the processes of actual experience and education.

- John Dewey, 1938

INTRODUCTION....................169

IREAL-WORLD EXAMPLES OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PEER GROUP CONSULTATION....................172

II.PLACING PEER GROUP CONSULTATION IN RELATION TO CURRENT TRENDS IN JUDICIAL TRAINING....................174

III. JUDICIAL EXPERTISE AND KNOW-HOW AS A UNIQUE FORM OF KNOWLEDGE....................179

A. Judicial artistry: judicial skills....................181

B. Judical artistry: proactive judging....................184

IV. THE THEORETICAL BASIS OF THE PEER-GROUP-CONSULTATION APPROACH....................185

A. The essence of professional knowledge....................185

B. Comprehensive, organization-wide professional training systems....................188

C. Learning as a group-based and a community-based process 190

D. The organizational-institutional dimension: the organization as a learning community....................191

V. JUDICIAL TRAINING THROUGH PEER CONSULTATION GROUPS AND ORGANIZING A DISTRICT AS A LEARNING COMMUNITY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE MAGISTRATES' COURTS OF ISRAELS CENTRAL DISTRICT....................192

A. The system level: the elements of systemic change....................193

B. The group level: peer consultation groups....................194

1. What does one learn in peer consultation groups? ..194

2. Outcomes of work in peer consultation groups....................195

3. Necessary conditions for the success of peer consultation groups....................196

C. The use of organizational development consultants....................199

VI.PEER CONSULTATION AS A CULTURAL CHANGE....................199

VII. THE ADVANTAGES OF COMMUNITY LEARNING IN THE FIELD .... 202

VIII. THE LEADING ROLE OF A NATIONAL JUDICIAL TRAINING CENTER IN THE FORMATION, MAINTENANCE, AND DEVELOPMENT OF PEER CONSULTATION GROUPS....................205

IX.PEER CONSULTATION AND PROTECTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE.................... 206

CONCLUSION: PEER CONSULTATION AND LEARNING COMMUNITIES IN LIGHT OF THE CHALLENGES POSED BY THE CONTEMPORARY ENVIRONMENT OF JUDICIAL SYSTEMS.................... 208

INTRODUCTION

This paper presents a method of judicial training that we call peer group consultation. This method has a sound philosophical, theoretical, and practical rationale that has been successfully tested in various organizations. In addition, this method is particularly suited for professional training and therefore carries a lot of innovative potential for judicial training.1

Peer group consultation is a learning method whereby a group of judges at a particular place of work or in a particular field meets on a regular basis to engage in an open dialogue about their work. This might involve analysis of work experiences raised by group members and joint examination of issues related to their work such as practices, procedures, and standards.

This article is based on the experience acquired in the magistrates' courts of Israel's Central District in the years 2010-2015, placing it in relation to current trends in the field of professional development in general and in the field of judicial education in particular.2 Its purpose is to introduce peer group consultation to the judicial profession at large and to start a discussion on what it is, its potential benefits, and how peer group consultation can be put into practice.

This article is divided into ten parts:

I. The effectiveness of peer group consultation - This part is based on the testimonies of judges taking part in peer group consultations and highlights the unique experience of participation in such groups, as well as the quality of the insights that peer group consultation provides. …

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