HC Deb 11 December 2002 vol 396 cc382-3W
Margaret Moran

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many hours training judges receive on domestic violence(a) per year and (b) during the course of their term. [86425]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Judicial training is the responsibility of the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) which is an independent body. It is chaired by Lord Justice Waller.

All newly appointed part-time judges are required to attend a residential induction course before they sit judicially. In addition all judges authorised by the Lord Chancellor on the strength of their experience and ability, to exercise an additional jurisdiction such as family law, are required to attend a further residential induction course before they start to exercise the relevant jurisdiction.

Thereafter, both full and part-time judges attend residential continuation seminars every three years in each jurisdiction they are authorised to exercise (i.e. criminal law, civil law and family law). The amount of training time provided on domestic violence in JSB courses and seminars is shown in the table. The number of hours training received by any individual judge will depend upon the number of jurisdictions they are authorised to exercise.

In addition, all full and part-time judges sitting in the Crown court attend an annual one-day circuit seminar on sentencing issues, for which the theme last year was domestic violence. This provided, on average, up to five hours of additional training on this subject in 2000–01.

The term of appointment of an individual judge varies according to their age on appointment and their age of retirement, as determined by the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act (1993). It is therefore not possible to determine how many hours training on domestic violence in total a judge may receive during his or her term of office.

Time provided on training for judges in relation to domestic violence
Course-seminar Lecture Group discussion
Continuation (private family law) Split trials in domestic violence cases (15 mins.) Syndicate discussion (1 hour 30 mins.)
Psychiatric perspective of children with a violent parent (45 mins.)
Injunctions and committals (1 hour)

The seminars for care district judges include sessions, which cover domestic violence. Dr. Dare speaks on the effects upon a child witnessing violence between parents.

The Family Law Act seminars deal with orders made under Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996.