The German Judicial Academy serves the further training of judges of all branches of judiciary as well as public prosecutors on a national level. It is intended to provide further training to judges and public prosecutors and to communicate knowledge of, and experience in political, social, economic and other scientific developments.
The objectives of the further training and the contents of the programmes are outlined in a very general manner on purpose. It is only a general clause equiring clear definition. Owing to the general nature of the objectives and contents, the contents and scope of the programme offer may be adapted to existing demand.Nearly 150 conferences are offered by the German Judicial Academy at the two conference centres in Trier and Wustrau every year. Every year, approximately 5,000 judges and public prosecutors benefit from this offer which is versatile and covers many issues. Apart from covering the concrete further training requirements with respect to subject-specific issues, it also presents interdisciplinary topics and behaviour-related approaches.
Considering one week in autumn 2006 by way of example, the programme offers four conferences: „European Law in the Practice of Civil Court Judges“,„Introduction to Road Accident Law“, „Between Justice and Injustice – Live and Work of German Legal Practitioners“ and „Psychology and Testimony“, in the following week, the conferences offered will be on the following subjects: „Coordination and Implementation of European Law in the National Social Law of the EU Member States“, „Media and Crime“, „Justice and Jewry“ and „Drug-related Problems in the Area of Tension Between Criminal Prosecution and Therapy“.
These few examples already clearly demonstrate that the topics vary a lot and address, in each case,a different circle of interested persons. While an introductory conference on a defined area of law addresses more the younger colleagues or those who change departments; other topics, which cover interdisciplinary issues, are of a more general interest and offer even experienced and specialised legal practitioners an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and to expand their horizons.
The Committee on Seminar Curriculum has decided upon the composition of contents of the annual program as follows:
- subject-specific conferences 55%
civil law 4/10
criminal law 4/10
different specific jurisdictions 2/10
- interdisciplinary conferences
(e.g. European law issues) 25 %
- behaviour-oriented conferences
(teaching social competence
and Key qualifications) 25 %
- The setting-up of the conference programme is incumbent upon the individual administrations of justice; they are obliged to organise and execute the conferences allocated to them in consideration of the guidelines determined by the programme conference.
As the German Judicial Academy has no own, permanent team of lecturers, the organising state refers the individual conference subjects or sections to external lecturers, who are remunerated on a fee-basis. At present, about 950 lecturers are engaged every year. The majority of them come from the legal professions, courts and public prosecutors' offices, from universities and/or from science and research, from administrations, associations, and commercial companies. In addition, papers are presented by lawyers, medical practitioners, psychologists, sociologists, journalists, etc. As a rule, the majority of lecturers are experts from judicial practice. As there exists no team of permanent lecturers, flexibility in programme scheduling and in the choice of subjects can be ensured. Furthermore, the programme can thus be presented in such lively, colourful and practiceoriented ways as would never be possible with full-time staff.
Since the annual program is decided upon one year beforehand, the Fall Academy is in session for 2 weeks in October in order to handle subjects of topically high current importance. The subjects offered at the Fall Academy are determined by the Committee on Seminar Curriculum in June of the current academic year.