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Reflections on the Judicial Function 2019


2–4 Oct 2019






Judges and Magistrates

Reflections on the Judicial Function 2019

Formerly known as Dialogues on Being a Judge, this two and a half day residential program has been developed specifically for experienced (mid career) judges and magistrates. It will provide an opportunity for judicial officers to reflect and share with colleagues their approaches to their work through the exploration of contemporary themes.

Sessions will include whether and how the judiciary should respond to significant pressures on judicial independence and on the rule of law, and include discussion about the approach of President Trump to the American Judiciary.

It will also provide insights into rapid developments in the neurosciences and where current Australian research is heading, shedding light on the impact of these developments on US law and considering the potential impact on Australian law and judging in cases where lay and expert evidence is called about human behaviours including impulsivity and their causes and potential consequences on parties; witnesses, both children and older people; and, potentially, practitioners and judges themselves.

There will be a book club discussion which will provide participants with an opportunity to defend and test the bold claims of the American polymath, Judge Richard Posner, who contends that reading outside the law makes for a better judge. There is the promise of insight into the human condition – our own and those who come before us. Posner also says that reading is fun, offering a ‘vision of a life more “real” – vivid, meaningful, coherent – than our everyday existence, a sense of immense human possibility, of exaltation’ (Law and Literature, 2009).

The program will include sessions on quantum computing, automated predictions, inference and decision-making, and conclude with a session looking to the future, discussing broad trends and challenges facing the Australian community.

Planning Committee Members