Dialogues on Being a Judge

Date: 27 to 30-Aug-2013
Cost: $3,000.00
Venue: Grand Mercure, Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills, South Australia


This program has been developed specifically for experienced judges in mid-career, to give them an opportunity to examine their approach to their work through the exploration of four key contemporary themes:

  • Being a Judge.
    • An exploration of the obligations and challenges faced by judicial officers and the fundamental principles governing the performance of the judicial function.
  • The Impact of Developments in Neurobiological Research on Judging.
    • This aims to provide judges with new information about rapidly developing scientific research which illuminates practical difficulties encountered in judging in areas such as giving evidence, (including children’s evidence), and the effect of cognitive impairment on witnesses, practitioners and potentially judges themselves.
  • Media/Social Media and its Influence on the Judiciary.
    • This theme aims to expand participants’ awareness of the potential for new media to influence current law and practice.
  • Decision-Making in the Twenty -First Century.
    • This will explore the demographic composition of 21st century Australia, and how it affects the work of the courts and the decisions they make.

Presenters and Facilitators will include:

  • His Honour Judge Gordon Barrett, District Court of South Australia
  • The Hon Justice Linda Dessau AM, Family Court of Australia
  • The Hon Justice John Dowsett AM, Federal Court of Australia
  • The Hon John Doyle AC QC, Former Chief Justice of South Australia
  • The Hon Justice Monika Schmidt, Supreme Court of NSW
  • The Hon Justice Julie Ward, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW
  • Professor Max Bennett AO, The Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney
  • Mr Sean Dorney, MBE AM Pacific Correspondent, the Australia Network
  • Ms Jenny Green, Academic Director, NJCA
  • Professor Stephen Welch, Senior Lecturer, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne

Participants in the 2012 Program found the most beneficial aspects of the program to be the chance to reflect and interact with other judicial officers in a collegiate environment, as well as the opportunity for intellectual stimulation and refreshment. They unanimously recommended the program to other judges.


The cost per participant is $3000. The registration fee of $3000 covers accommodation at Mount Lofty House (http://www.mtloftyhouse.com.au/)  from Tuesday 27th August (check in) to Friday 30th August (check out). Meals from dinner on 27th August to Lunch on 30th August are included as are morning and afternoon teas from 28th August to 30th August (excluding afternoon tea on the last day). A bus will also be provided to take participants to the airport at 3.45 on Friday 30th August. Cancellation of the registration after Monday 5th August will incur a fee commensurate with any non-refundable expenses incurred by the College up to the date of cancellation .