JIFA offers a range of UCT-certified short courses both online and face-to-face. Our courses are developed by judges and are practical in design, based on experiential and interactive learning methods including small group work, hypothetical case studies as well as engagement with lawyers, academic experts, NGO’s and others when relevant. Each course caters for a maximum of 30 participants who will receive a University of Cape Town certificate on completion of the course as well as e-resources and ongoing support.

Most courses are 5 days in length.

In-person courses

Core skills for judicial officers (5 days)

This course includes the rule of law, separation of powers, judicial ethics, judgment writing. modern approaches to interpretation, motions and applications, pre-trial and trial case management.

Human Rights – Law and Practice: A introduction for African judges

Environmental law

A three-day introduction to the key areas and issues of environmental law for judges followed by a 2-day intensive dive into Climate Change. 

Senior Court Administrators Course

This course aims to equip senior court administrators with relevant knowledge and practical skills to manage courts efficiently and effectively, to protect and promote the independence of the judiciary and its ability to deliver justice efficiently and to manage human resources and change management within the court administration.      

Judicial leaders retreat

We offer a two-year (5 days each year) retreat for those already in or entering into judicial leadership roles. Year one looks at psychology of depth leadership, understanding human nature, others, and the individual. In year two the practical nature of leadership is unpacked - delving into judicial resilience, management of people, change management and conflict management, managing the media etc.

The Protection of Children

This 5-day course offers participants an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the international instruments relating to the protection of children and to promote a better understanding of the general provisions of the Hague Convention and its Protocols, and their application. Participants will be able to recognise the forms of child trafficking and be able to contextualise it in terms of its political, social, cultural, and economic background and understand the nature of the offence and to empathise with and commit to a Human Rights Based and Victim-Centred Approach in proceedings involving children.

Online courses (these can all be delivered face-to-face as well)

Legal researchers’ course (4 days online)

In this course, participants will be introduced to the role of the judicial researcher and what judges expect from their researchers. They will also explore the core competencies that legal researchers are expected to exhibit, including an understanding of legal ethics and basic drafting skills for several common formats (such as judgments, memos and speeches).

Judgment writing (4 days online)

In this course, participants will hone their judgment writing skills. They will explore different judgment types, audiences and styles; identify their own written ‘voice’; and learn new techniques that they can apply when writing their own judgments.

Core skills course (5 days online)

The core skills course aims to equip judicial officers with relevant knowledge and practical skills to manage courtrooms and cases efficiently and effectively. Participants will explore the role of a judicial officer in a constitutional democracy and engage with their role within the separation of powers. They will also consider the ethics, independence and impartiality required of their role. Participants will also learn skills for crafting and delivering judgments.

Introduction to refugee law for judges (5 days online)

This course is offered in partnership with the Africa Chapter of the International Association for Refugee Judges.
The course includes Historical development of International Refugee Law; the principle of non-refoulement in international and domestic law; refugee definition and basic refugee law concepts; exclusion from refugee status.
Rights of refugees, arrest, detention and deportation of refugees and migrants, the role of the courts and international mechanisms in protecting refugees: Role of UNHCR.

Refugee rights for refugee appeal body members (5 days online)

This course includes the international development of refugee law; refugee law concepts; establishing the facts in an asylum claim; conducting an appeal hearing, critical listening skills, unconscious bias and preparing a decision.

Effective Criminal Justice Responses to Gender-based violence   (16 hours self-paced online) 

This course aims to raise awareness about, and to foster the use and application of, relevant international standards and norms by the judiciary when dealing with criminal cases involving Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls (GBVAWG). It also highlights applicable best practices for cases involving gender-based violence in order to assist judicial officers to prevent incidents of secondary victimisation to women and girls who seek justice.

We also offer national judiciaries an option to buy a 3-year licence to run the courses themselves and provide them with training to run the courses and certification.

Click here for more information.