Thirty two judges from 12 African countries participated in the very first Core skills for judges course
Judge Dinnah Usiku from the Windhoek High Court in Namibia found the module on judgment writing and the interaction with her African peers particularly helpful. “This course should be held as often as possible to assist judicial officers who are newly appointed,” added Usiku, whose appointment to the bench was made eight months ago.
Justice Kweku Ackaah-Boafo, a high court judge in the Ghanian capital Accra, feels enriched by the experience. He believes the course is essential for “establishing commonality of values and culture” among African judicial officers.
The course was offered under the auspices of the Judicial Institute for Africa (JIFA), which is hosted by the DGRU and offers university-certified courses for African jurists.
Topics covered in the course include The Rule of Law, Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence and Judicial Ethics. A maximum of 35 participants can be accommodated in this practical course, which draws on experiential and interactive learning methods. Post-graduate students presented a mock trial to the judges and participated in a motion court scenario as well.
The course was an extraordinary success, largely due to the brilliant programme design and management by Justice Linda Dobbs DBE and Justice Oagile Dingake (Honorary Professor of Law at UCT) supported by a faculty of judges from the region and law faculty experts.