Report No. 117
Justification for Imparting Training
2.1. The need to impart technical training has not received its due recognition till recently. Pre-service institutional training for entrants to judicial service has hardly engaged the attention of the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India or the Government. It was assumed that standing at the Bar for certain number of years before entering judicial service would provide adequate training to be able to preside over the court to which one is appointed. Later on, schemes were devised for imparting practical training by attaching the new entrants to the service to the courts presided over by senior judges for a period extending roughly to three months. Observation in the court was to be the form of training. Before we examine the need for a comprehensive training programme for judicial officers, it is necessary to look around and gather information about the need and the scope of training for judicial officers.
2.2. France recognised the need for institutional training by invoking the famous dictum of Napoleon when he said:
"Military qualities are required only in a few circumstances. Civil virtues which characterise a true Judge, have an influence every moment on public felicity."
One can enter judicial service in France after graduation without any qualifying previous practice at the Bar. This method has attracted young people with good talent to the service without the hazard of a waiting period at the Bar. It was believed that direct entry into service without some kind of practice at the Bar would eliminate the possible allegiance of the entrant to some senior members of the Bar as also any attachment to private interest, which might have provided legal work to him. For imparting training to judicial officers, the Ministry of Justice has set up the National Academy for the Judiciary which as such is an autonomous body. The administration vests in the Principal assisted by Vice-Principal in charge of practical training and a Director of Studies. The teaching staff consists of Professors and Readers of Law and Senior Judicial Officers appointed by the Principal in consultation with the Advisory Board.
A competitive examination for the recruitment to judicial service is held every year. It is open to persons of both sexes aged 27 or less and possessing the degree of Bachelor of Law. The recruitment is according to the merit list prepared on the result of the examination. Institutes of Judicial Studies attached to Faculties of Law provide instructions for preparing to appear at the competitive examination. The written tests consist of an essay on general culture, one test in civil law, another in criminal law or public law and the preparation of a note with the help of documents relating to judicial problems. Those who qualify at the written test have to undergo oral tests consisting of a conversation of 30 minutes with the Board of Examiners, five oral tests of 15 minutes each on different branches of law and a test of 30 minutes in foreign language.1
Ordinarily, the recruitment is primarily from the source of fresh graduates taking competitive examination. Few persons may also be admitted after a special examination, if need be, from advocates, notaries, sarishtadars, government servants specialised in legal activities, other persons who distinguished themselves in the juridical field, provided they all possess the degree of Bachelor of Law. The training lasts for 28 months and consists of a study in the Academy for 9 months, a period of practical training, a final practical training of two months after the final examination in the court where the officer is to be posted first and a period of specialised training of four months which should be completed within the four years of their appointment as judicial officers in one of the specialised branches of the judiciary.2
The training aims at giving sufficient, expertise in the professional technique required for the performance of the duty of a judicial officer. Seminars, lectures on methodology, study of files, lectures on special subjects, are organised during the 'period of training. Practical training is imparted in the courts. They are even allowed to observe the deliberations of the Benches of the judicial officers for arriving at judgments. It may be mentioned here that following the old French proverb "juge unique, juge unique, (single judge unfair judge)", in France every court except the lowest is provided with a Bench of Judges and in no higher court does a single judge give decision.3
This gives them an opportunity to view the deliberations of judicial officers for arriving at judgments. Occasionally, they are invited to express their own opinion. As part of training, the trainees are sent for short periods to police stations, prisons, home for delinquents, industrial and commercial concerns and in some cases to foreign countries also. At the end of training, there is a final examination consisting amongst others of:
(1) drafting judgments; and
(2) oral test of 15 minutes consisting of penal or civil pleading.
The French system has been extensively reproduced here to specifically emphasize the need for training, both institutional and practical.
1. David Annoussamy: Judiciary in France, Juurnal of the Bar Council of India, (1981), Vol. 8, p. 296.
2. David Annoussamy: Judiciary in France, Journal of the Bar Council of India, (1981), Vol. 8, p. 298.
3. Lehar Singh Mehta The French Legal System, Journal Section, All India Reporter, 1959, p. 83.
2.3. Article 80 of the Constitution of Japan provides that the judges of the inferior courts shall be appointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the Supreme Court. Ordinarily, the recommendation of the Supreme Court is invariably accepted. The term of office for judges of the inferior court is of 10 years. They are generally re-appointed. If the Supreme Court does not recommend re-appointment, the judge is removed from judicial office without any recourse to an impeachment type process. According to the Courts Act, there are four categories of judges of the inferior courts. The are:
(1) Presidents of the High Courts;
(3) Assistant Judges; and
(4) Summary Court Judges.
The matter worthy of notice is that assistant judges are appointed from amongst those people who have completed two years of training at the Legal Training and Research Institute, an agency of the Supreme Court. After having first passed the Bar examiration, summary court judges are appointed either:
(1) from amongst those who have served for not less than three years as an assistant judge, public prosecutor or practising attorney;
(2) from amongst those who have the knowledge and experience necessary for carrying out the duties of a summary court judge such as those who have engaged in judicial business for many years and have been recommended by the Supreme Court.1
It thus appears that the entry at the grass-root level as assistant judges is from those who have completed two years training at the institute hereinabove mentioned. Before entering the institute, the candidate ought to have passed the national legal examination. The institutional training provides for class-room instruction, field training under the guidance of individual judges, etc., and a course in drafting. On the completion of the course spreading over two years and qualifying at the examination, one becomes eligible to be appointed as an assistant judge.2