Application for Status as International Research Collaborative (IRC)
International Law & Society Meeting in Hawai’i in June 2012
Names of organisers
National Judicial Institute, Ottawa, Canada
FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany
Description of Proposed IRC
Gender and Judicial Education
Gender (and related social context themes) has emerged as a strong current in judicial education.
Overall judicial education has greatly expanded in common law countries in the past 25 years. More recently it has become a core component in judicial reform programs in developing countries with gender attentiveness as an element required by donor agencies. In civil law jurisdictions, judicial schools have long played a role in the formation of the career judiciary with a focus on entry to the judicial profession and in-service education. Gender questions, however, tend to be neglected in the curricula.
The International Association of Judicial Training (IOJT) has sponsored international conferences on judicial education on four occasions since 2003. These gatherings have provided a venue for judicial educators from developed and developing countries in both legal traditions to examine curriculum and pedagogy in judicial education.
The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) has a well-established “Judicial Education for Equality Program” which it offers in partnership with developing country partners. The UN Division on the Advancement of Women (DAW) has a long-standing program in developing countries to familiarize judges with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international instruments relevant to gender equality. UNIFEM is active in promoting review of national laws for gender responsiveness and promoting ‘gender laws’. A number of non-governmental (women’s) organizations, have developed gender curriculum for judicial education.
These judicial education activities have generated a significant body of material and experience which is timely for scholarly review and dissemination:
What is the state of affairs? How is judicial education implemented in developed and developing countries all around the world? Who are the educators? Who is educated? What are the theories of gender and equality which are animating these programs? How is judicial education on gender regarded by judges? How effective are these programs? How does taking ‘social context’ into account as a core aspect of effective and responsive judging change the model of judging? What, if any, correlation exists with the appointment of a more diverse judiciary including women judges and judges from non-majority cultures? What is the relationship between a specific focus on gender equality and mandates for judicial impartiality and judicial independence?
In what way finally can the experiences be compared to those with gender education for lawyers and law firms?
This IRC will gather scholars as well as judicial educators to debate these questions. The IRC will add to and build on the work of the CRN on Gender and Judging (organisers: Sally Kenney and Ulrike Schultz who is also chair of the RCSL Legal Profession Group) which started as an IRC in Berlin 2007 with 5 sessions and which had sessions at the LSA Conferences in Montreal, Denver, Chicago (2 of the sessions in conjunction with the RCSL Law and Popular Culture Group), a workshop on Gender and Judging at the IISL in Onati in 2009 and sessions at other socio-legal conferences. Sally Kenney runs a blog for the Gender and Judging CRN which unites more than 128 researchers from 17 countries.
Expected Scholarly Product
Publications resulting from the CRN on Gender and Judging so far comprise: A special issue of the International Journal of the Legal Profession with six papers which will be reprinted as a book by Routledge, and a collection of 30 contributions dealing with judging in more than 20 countries which will appear with Hart publishers in 2011.
The IRC on Gender Education for the Judiciary aims in the first instance at a special issue of a
Journal dedicated to gender and judicial education in international perspective.