AuthorLaura Cahillane - Rónán Kennedy
PositionEditor in Chief - Guest Editor
[2022] Irish Judicial Studies Journal Vol 6(1)
Welcome to the first edition of the Irish Judicial Studies Journal for 2022. This is a special
edition comprising a selection of papers originally presented during two seminars in late 2021
focusing on the issues of judicial education and training and judicial conduct and ethics,
following the establishment of the Irish Judicial Council. The seminars were part of a project
organised by the editor and guest editor and funded by the Irish Research Council under the
New Foundations scheme.
The establishment of the Judicial Council marked a significant step in the ongoing process
of reform and modernisation of the Irish court system. Two decades after the establishment
of the Courts Service, which gave proper status to the administration of justice, the creation
of a body dedicated to supporting and assisting with the work of judges brings into sharp
focus some key issues and controversies in the legal system as it grows and faces uncertain
and challenging times. More importantly, it offers a crucial and unrepeatable opportunity to
develop modern, innovative, and fit-for-purpose mechanisms for key functions such as
judicial conduct and ethics, judicial education and training, and sentencing guidelines.
While great work has already been done in establishing the Council and the various
Committees, there is a significant amount of work yet to be done in order to develop a
modern fit-for-purpose judicial education and training system as well as complaints process.
Getting these mechanisms, processes, and institutional arrangements right will provide the
Irish judiciary, and the Irish people, with essential supports that respect judicial independence
while also providing confidence in the system. Achieving this desirable goal will require
research, thought and effort. Academics from law and other disciplines, civil Society groups,
and experts from bench and practice, have important insights to offer in this respect and
experiences from other jurisdictions can also provide an opportunity to learn from what has
been tried and tested elsewhere.
It is to be hoped that the seminars held last year and this special edition can be the beginning
of a long-term conversation on these important matters.
This edition begins with an article by Raymond Byrne which looks at the Bangalore Principles
and the general international context for the provisions on judicial conduct in the Judicial
Council Act 2019. Justice Adèle Kent explains how judicial education is approached in
Canada; the National Judicial Skills Institute in Canada takes an approached based on the
idea that in teaching a skill, it is necessary to provide theory, modelling and practice. She
argues that the best judicial education courses incorporate law, social context and skills all as
part of the learning process. Brian Barry considers the issue of judicial impartiality. He argues
that the Judicial Council should take a proactive approach to promote and maintain judicial
impartiality, to address contemporary challenges that the Irish judiciary face including
increasingly sophisticated empirical research into judicial performance, the pr oliferation of
judicial analytics tools, and more probative and critical media and social media coverage.
Silvio Vinceti examines the systems in place in both Ireland and Italy in relation to judicial
discipline and argues that standardisation plays a less important role than the allocation of
authority and who decides on matters of judicial discipline and removal. Eunice Collins looks
at the definition of judicial misconduct in the Judicial Council Act 2019. She considers
examples from other jurisdictions, such as Australia and England & Wales, in order to shed

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