'Robinson Crusoe on a Desert Island'?: Judicial Education in Ireland, 1995-2019

Niamh Howlin, Mark Coen, Colette Barry, John Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2019, Irish judicial education has been undergoing major structural change. Prior to the
legislative establishment of the Judicial Council in that year, formal training for judges in
Ireland was almost non-existent. Innovation in this area was limited to the holding of judicial
conferences that occurred annually from the mid-1990s onwards. This article places the
training of Irish judges in its international context and analyses the reflections of 22 judges on
how they learned the skills of judgecraft prior to the creation of a formalised system of judicial
education and training. The data demonstrates that members of the judiciary engaged in a
range of largely informal learning activities and provides insights into a hitherto unexplored
aspect of Irish judicial culture. The data is also of broader significance in highlighting organic
and unofficial aspects of judicial education, which can be overlooked in jurisdictions with
highly-developed, formalised structures for training the judiciary.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLegal Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Nov 2021


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