The Judicial Studies Board
   for Northern Ireland




   Strategy Document
       2006 – 2009
CONTENTS                                      PAGE



1.   Executive Summary ……………………………………. 3


2.   Introduction …………………...
1.    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This strategy document is the first of its kind for the Judicial Studies
Board for Northern Irela...
•   Strategic objective No. 6 – To continue to monitor and develop
       the JSB’s staff and ensure that the skills they ...
2.     INTRODUCTION

The JSB is an independent body, sponsored by the Northern Ireland
Court Service. The Board is chaired...
3.     THE JSB STRATEGY

This strategy document sets out the long term direction for the JSB,
establishing its key priorit...
4.    JSB’S ACTIVITIES

The Board is responsible for overseeing the training for all judicial tiers.
Training can broadly ...
groups of judges at each judicial tier and newly appointed judges from
Northern Ireland attend these events.

Newly appoin...
The JSB is regularly made aware of events being held by organisations
elsewhere in the UK, or on the international circuit...
and, for Lay Magistrates’ training only, to the Lay Magistrates’ Training
Committee.

Further evaluation is carried out 3-...
to all judges and their awareness of on-line legal search engines is
enhanced through training.

The JSB has recently deve...
12
PRINCIPAL OFFICER

                                             Secretary to the Judicial Studies Board


                ...
14
5.      JSB STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

The JSB must ensure that the business it conducts continues to develop
and respond to ch...
forms. Six monthly post training evaluation has recently been introduced
to assess the application of learning to the work...
•   Strategic Objective No. 2 – To continue to evaluate induction
       training for newly appointed judicial office hold...
review in Northern Ireland. One of the terms of reference for the review
is training.

The JSB has been pro-active in its ...
(ii)        Systems

        •   Strategic Objective No. 5 – To complete the implementation of
            the JSB website...
•   Strategic Objective No. 6 – To continue to monitor and develop
        the JSB’s staff and ensure that the skills they...
that the service it delivers provides value for money. The increase in
business in relation to tribunals training will be ...
6.     STRATEGIC RISKS

This section identifies the external pressures and drivers that may place
the achievement of the J...
7.    STRATEGIC RISK MANAGEMENT

The JSB will manage the risks identified in Part 6 above in the following
ways.

Maintain...
8.    CONCLUSION

This strategy document sets out the JSB’s vision and aims for the next
three years. Further details of h...
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Judicial Studies Board Strategy Document 2006 – 2009

  1. 1. The Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland Strategy Document 2006 – 2009
  2. 2. CONTENTS PAGE 1. Executive Summary ……………………………………. 3 2. Introduction …………………………………………….. 5 3. The JSB Strategy ……………………………………….. 6 4. JSB’s Activities …………………………………………. 7 5. JSB Strategic Objectives ………………………………... 13 6. Strategic Risks …………………………………………... 20 7. Strategic Risk Management …………………………….. 21 8. Conclusion ……………………………………………….22 2
  3. 3. 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This strategy document is the first of its kind for the Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland (JSB). The document provides information on the Board and its secretariat, and outlines the business which the JSB conducts. The JSB’s business falls under the following categories: • Induction training • JSB events • Non JSB events • Publications and other resources • Training evaluation • Working with other jurisdictions • Responding to change and modernisation The document sets out the key strategic objectives which the JSB has for the next 3 years, and how it intends to meet those objectives. These objectives are set out below: • Strategic Objective No. 1 – To review JSB’s programme of training, the resource materials it produces and its relationships with other judicial training bodies in order to improve the service provided to judicial office holders and ensure that it delivers value for money. • Strategic Objective No. 2 – To continue to evaluate induction training for newly appointed judicial office holders and improve the service provided to JSB customers. • Strategic Objective no. 3 – To monitor JSB’s customer base and react to changes in the external environment in order to ensure that it meet the needs of all customers within its remit. • Strategic Objective No. 4 – To keep under review the membership of the Judicial Studies Board and the arrangements for appointment of members by the Lord Chief Justice. • Strategic Objective No.5 – To complete the implementation of the JSB website and evaluate the IT systems which support JSB business. 3
  4. 4. • Strategic objective No. 6 – To continue to monitor and develop the JSB’s staff and ensure that the skills they have and the structure of the JSB teams are sufficient to meet the needs of its business. • Strategic Objective No. 7 – To continue to make representations regarding budget allocation and monitor JSB’s financial resources to ensure that they are sufficient to meet business needs and are spent in a cost effective manner. • Strategic objective No. 8 – To establish a corporate identity for the JSB which accurately reflects its business aims and values. The document concludes by identifying the strategic risks which may impede the achievement of JSB’s objectives and setting out contingency plans for avoiding these risks. 4
  5. 5. 2. INTRODUCTION The JSB is an independent body, sponsored by the Northern Ireland Court Service. The Board is chaired by The Right Honourable Lord Justice Campbell. Its other members are a High Court judge, two County Court judges (one of whom is designated the Tutor Judge), a Resident Magistrate, a Coroner, a Master and a District Judge, the Programme Director from SLS Legal Publications (NI), an academic from Queen’s University and the Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The work of the Board is supported by a secretariat (the JSB office) provided by the Northern Ireland Court Service. The aim of the JSB is to ensure that judicial office holders are equipped as far as possible with the skills and knowledge which they need to discharge their duties effectively, in a way which preserves judicial independence and promotes confidence in the justice system. This is achieved through suitable programmes of practical studies, and the dissemination of information through appropriate and timely communication means. The JSB aims to protect judicial independence and in particular ensure that sectional interests are not brought to bear on the judiciary through training events. The JSB office is a department of the Office of the Lord Chief Justice and this ensures that the work of the JSB is “judge driven”. 5
  6. 6. 3. THE JSB STRATEGY This strategy document sets out the long term direction for the JSB, establishing its key priorities for the next three years, covering the period 1 May 2006 – 30 April 2009. The JSB has been aware of the need to improve its systematic strategic planning and intends that its thinking and planning will be more strategically focused in the future. The document considers where the JSB is now and the business it is currently carrying out, where it aims to be in 3 years time, and how it will meet these aims. Successful delivery of JSB’s strategy is dependent on the requisite financial and staff resources being in place. Its delivery must be carefully planned and monitored. The JSB Business Plans for each of the next 3 years will set out the detail for delivering this strategy. 6
  7. 7. 4. JSB’S ACTIVITIES The Board is responsible for overseeing the training for all judicial tiers. Training can broadly be divided into three categories: black letter law, socio-legal studies and judgecraft. A sub group of the Board, The Lay Magistrates’ Training Committee is responsible for the management of training for Lay Magistrates. The Secretariat for both the Board and the Lay Magistrates’ Training Committee is provided by the JSB office, which is also responsible for administering all training. The work carried out by the JSB can be broadly divided into the following categories: (i) Induction training (ii) JSB events (iii) Non JSB events (iv) Publications and other resources (v) Training evaluation (vi) Working with other jurisdictions (vii) Responding to change and modernisation (viii) Resource management (i) Induction training The JSB regards induction training for all judicial tiers as vital for ensuring that new appointees have the requisite skills and knowledge to carry out their duties effectively. Induction training is tailored according to the relevant judicial tier and, while not statutory, there is an expectation that anyone taking up a new judicial appointment will undertake induction training. For many judicial tiers the number of appointments made is relatively low, which affords the JSB the opportunity to tailor induction training to suit the needs of the individual. Induction training takes several forms. In cases where training is tailored to the individual, a new appointee will be interviewed by a member of the secretariat from JSB and their training needs assessed. These needs are addressed in a number of different ways. The JSB maintains strong links to the Judicial Studies Board of England and Wales (JSB E&W). The larger number of appointments in that jurisdiction allows the JSB E&W to run regular induction events for 7
  8. 8. groups of judges at each judicial tier and newly appointed judges from Northern Ireland attend these events. Newly appointed judges will also receive relevant Bench Books and are afforded the opportunity to visit certain prisons and justice centres. A mentoring scheme and IT training are available if required. Around 260 new Lay Magistrates have recently been appointed and trained. Their induction training comprised a series of formal training events and court observations. Unlike their more senior judicial counterparts, induction training for Lay Magistrates is statutory and they can not sit in court until this programme of induction training is completed. Lay Magistrates are also provided with a Bench Book – The Lay Magistrates’ Manual, and afforded the opportunity to attend certain justice centres. It is unlikely that new Lay Magistrates will be appointed for some time, however, when they are they will be inducted in a similar manner. (ii) JSB events The JSB delivers an annual programme of events for judicial office holders. The aim is to deliver approximately ten events per term for judges and two events per year for Lay Magistrates, through a combination of seminars and practical workshops. The number of these events may increase depending on demand and it is a strong attribute of the JSB that it has the ability to be flexible and include additional events, often at short notice. The purpose of this rolling programme of events is to ensure that all judicial office holders are kept abreast of developments in their respective fields and that the opportunity exists for their skills and knowledge to be continuously developed. Events are by invitation only and usually aimed at specific judicial tiers. The programme of events can be viewed on the JSB website (www.jsbni.com). CPD points may be available for JSB events. The JSB also hosts an Annual Address, which is usually given by an eminent judicial figure or a leading legal academic. It is a major event usually held at a prestigious venue and followed by a gala dinner. All professional tiers of the judiciary are invited. A recent development has been to invite law students from Queen’s University and the University of Ulster to the lecture. (iii) Non JSB events 8
  9. 9. The JSB is regularly made aware of events being held by organisations elsewhere in the UK, or on the international circuit. The Board will consider such events and if appropriate grant permission for a particular judge to attend. Factors such as value for money and return on investment for judicial office holders form part of the considerations. Any judicial office holder attending such an event is expected to submit a report of the event in order that the learning can be shared with others. Members of the judiciary are also invited to attend courses organised and run by the JSB E&W and the Judicial Studies Council of Scotland (JSC). (iv) Publications and other resources The JSB produces a range of publications including the Crown Court Bench Book, Sentencing Guidelines, and The Lay Magistrates’ Manual. The content of these publications is regularly reviewed and updated as required, usually in conjunction with representatives from the relevant judicial tier. Emphasis is moving from producing bound volumes to encouraging the use of such materials on line through the JSB website. Northern Ireland also has access to the publications produced by the JSB E&W and the JSC. Links to both bodies are available on JSB’s website. The JSB produces a Current Awareness Briefing which regularly updates judges on recent case law and legal developments. This briefing issues on average monthly, sometimes more often if demand merits it, and less often during the Summer recess. Should an urgent development arise which needs to be brought to the attention of all judicial officers, or a specific judicial tier, written directions or advice will issue as quickly as possible. Books, magazines, publications by other bodies, conference materials and reports from non JSB events are held in the Supreme Court Library and can be accessed as required. A catalogue of these training resources is available. (v) Training evaluation Induction training and JSB events are evaluated in order to ascertain if the training delivered has met its objectives, has met the needs of the JSB’s customers, and to determine whether any further training needs exist. Evaluation usually takes place through post training questionnaires, completed immediately after each training event. The results of these questionnaires are analysed and reported to the Board 9
  10. 10. and, for Lay Magistrates’ training only, to the Lay Magistrates’ Training Committee. Further evaluation is carried out 3-6 months after the seminar or learning event in order to gauge the longer term benefits of the learning and to assess if further training needs exist. Evaluation allows the JSB to measure its success and plan for improvements to its training and systems. (vi) Working with other jurisdictions The JSB benefits from successful working relationships with judicial training bodies both nationally and internationally. The JSB is a member of the UK Judicial Studies Council, which comprises members representing each of the Judicial Studies organisations in England and Wales, and Scotland. The Council meets twice a year and also exchanges views on an ad hoc basis. There are also exchanges with the Judicial Studies Institute in the Republic of Ireland. The JSB is a founder member of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and members of the judiciary attend conferences in a number of other jurisdictions to discuss matters of mutual interest. (vii) Responding to change and modernisation The JSB remains constantly aware of changes in its environment and works to ensure that such changes are communicated to relevant judicial office holders as quickly as possible. This is achieved through seminars, workshops, publications, briefings and library resources. Changes may include recent case law and appeal court judgments or the need to raise awareness of issues such as equality or diversity in courts. The potential impact of change brought about by major reviews to the justice or courts system is also considered by the JSB, for example the current review of the tribunal’s system in Northern Ireland and the need for JSB to consider the related training implications. The continuous change in information and communications technology must be harnessed in order to ensure that judges are kept abreast of developments in these fields. It also ensures that the manner in which the JSB delivers its training meets changing trends and ultimately meets the needs of judicial office holders to maximum effect. IT training is offered 10
  11. 11. to all judges and their awareness of on-line legal search engines is enhanced through training. The JSB has recently developed a website (www.jsbni.com) where interested parties can view the programme of JSB events, access Bench Books and Sentencing Guidelines, and find out more about the work of the JSB. (viii) Resource management The Secretariat of the JSB is responsible for managing an annual budget in a cost effective manner while ensuring that judicial training needs are met. A budget is agreed with the Northern Ireland Court Service at the start of each financial year. The Secretary of the Board is ultimately responsible for the management of the budget based on advice from the JSB Budget Co-ordinator and in consultation with managers. The JSB office structure is on the next page. The Secretary of the Board is ultimately responsible for the management of the office and for ensuring there are sufficient staff resources to meet the needs of JSB business. 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. PRINCIPAL OFFICER Secretary to the Judicial Studies Board DEPUTY PRINCIPAL Publications, updates and advice STAFF OFFICER STAFF OFFICER Judicial and Lay Magistrate Training Tribunals and Policy EXECUTIVE OFFICER EXECUTIVE OFFICER Judicial Training Lay Magistrate Training ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER Judicial Training Lay Magistrate Training ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER Judicial Training
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. 5. JSB STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES The JSB must ensure that the business it conducts continues to develop and respond to changes in its environment. It must adopt a policy of strategic planning and be clear about where it wants to be in 3 years time and how it intends to get there. JSB’s strategic objectives are set out below, grouped under 4 over-arching categories:- (i) Core business (ii) Systems (iii) Resources and structure (iv) Identity (i) Core Business • Strategic Objective No. 1 – To evaluate JSB’s programme of training, the resource materials it produces and its relationships with other judicial training bodies in order to improve the service provided to judicial office holders and ensure that it delivers value for money. The number of events offered to judicial office holders has increased significantly in recent times in order to meet the demands of JSB’s customers and the continually changing environment within which they operate. The JSB plans to conduct a review of its business through an exercise to monitor the quality of the training and resource materials that it provides. The review will include considering the mechanisms currently in place for selecting individuals to attend non JSB events in order to ensure that equality of opportunity exists. The JSB will continue to examine good practice in other jurisdictions and identify areas where it can adopt such good practice. Such a survey will be distinct from reviewing induction training, which is discussed in Strategic Objective No. 2. The JSB is aware that much of its annual programme of events is planned in reaction to new initiatives and legal developments. The JSB will examine this practice and establish a means for applying more strategic planning to the content of its programme in order to be able to publish as full and as progressive a programme of events as possible. The JSB plans to review its evaluation processes in relation to individual training events and the timeliness of such evaluation. At present evaluation is carried out directly after events, through written evaluation
  16. 16. forms. Six monthly post training evaluation has recently been introduced to assess the application of learning to the working environment. The JSB will monitor these evaluation processes to ensure that their timing and content is best suited to business needs. The JSB will constantly review the functions of each judicial tier and deliver any training required to accommodate such changes. It will also develop a mechanism actively to encourage judicial officers to submit feedback on all of JSB’s services on an ad hoc basis. The creation of the new judicial office of Lay Magistrate has meant that training for this tier over the last two years has focused on induction. Now that Lay Magistrates have all been appointed and inducted, focus has shifted back to the annual programme of training. (Further appointments are unlikely to occur for some time). Throughout the recruitment process it was acknowledged that the demands from this new body may be significantly greater than those of the past. The JSB will monitor and review how these demands are being met and ensure that the way in which training is delivered is best suited to the large number of geographically dispersed people in that particular tier. Lay Magistrates meet throughout the year on a Divisional basis to discuss operational matters. These meetings should include a training session, and it is on the basis of this that the JSB provides funding for these meetings. There is evidence to suggest that the training element of these meetings could be enhanced. The JSB will review the training element of Divisional meetings and work closely with the Association to ensure that the training benefits to be gained through this medium are being optimised. The JSB finds the business links with national and international bodies such as the UK Judicial Studies Council and the EJTN invaluable. In order to ensure that the JSB is making full use of the benefits from these links it will review the business it conducts and identify areas where the business achieved through these links can be improved. TARGET – the JSB will commence work on Strategic Objective No. 1 by March 2007 with a view to achieving the objective by the end of 2007. 16
  17. 17. • Strategic Objective No. 2 – To continue to evaluate induction training for newly appointed judicial office holders and improve the service provided to JSB customers. Evaluation of induction training for judges was reviewed relatively recently. However the JSB is aware that there may still be gaps in the system. The JSB will continue to monitor the induction training it offers to all new appointees at all tiers and actively seek feedback from recent appointees and implement improvements where required. The JSB will explore the requirement for judgecraft training as part of its induction processes. TARGET – Strategic Objective No. 2 will be achieved on an ongoing basis throughout the period covered by this strategy document. • Strategic Objective No. 3 – To monitor JSB’s customer base and react to changes in the external environment in order to ensure that it meet the needs of all customers within its remit. The JSB’s training formally extends to the following judicial tiers which, in appropriate cases, will include deputy judiciary at the relevant tiers:  Lords Justices of Appeal  High Court Judiciary  County Court Judges  Resident Magistrates  Coroners  Masters  District Judges  Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court  Lay Magistrates The JSB maintains a constant awareness of changes which may affect its business and proactively considers such change and its impact. A major review of the tribunals system in Northern Ireland is under way which is likely to have a considerable impact on JSB’s business. An inter-departmental group jointly chaired by the Northern Ireland Court Service and the Office of the First Minister/ Deputy First Minister has been established. The Lord Chief Justice has appointed Mr Justice Coghlin, President of the Lands Tribunal, to chair a group of tribunals’ presidents and chairmen to provide judicial input into the Government 17
  18. 18. review in Northern Ireland. One of the terms of reference for the review is training. The JSB has been pro-active in its response to this change. Some months ago the JSB commenced work to consider the training requirements of tribunals, and whether these could be provided wholly or partly by the JSB. Research, which included an examination of the training provided to tribunals in England and Wales by the JSB E&W, is almost complete, and a report including recommendations will shortly be placed before the Board. Those recommendations will be considered with a view to implementing a system over the next 3 years which will meet the needs of tribunals in the future. The resources required to meet such change are referred to in strategic objectives numbers 6 and 7. A second major change on the JSB’s horizon is the impact of anticipated Civil Justice Reform in Northern Ireland. There are recommendations which refer directly to judicial training. The JSB will monitor progress and take action as necessary. The JSB will continue to monitor influences in the external environment and implement change where necessary. TARGET – Strategic Objective No 3 will be monitored closely during the forthcoming months and action will be taken as required during the period of this strategy document. • Strategic Objective No. 4 – To keep under review the membership of the Judicial Studies Board and the arrangements for appointment of members by the Lord Chief Justice. Membership of the JSB is outlined in the Introduction. The Board aims to serve all the judicial tiers it covers and will monitor its membership accordingly. The arrangements for appointing members will be kept under review. TARGET – Strategic Objective No. 4 will be kept under review. The arrangements for appointment will be considered in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice by December 2006. 18
  19. 19. (ii) Systems • Strategic Objective No. 5 – To complete the implementation of the JSB website and evaluate the IT systems which support JSB business. The JSB has recently launched its own website – www.jsbni.com. For many of its customers the website is the public face of the JSB therefore it should be as informative and as user friendly as possible. It is an important tool for judicial officers and other legal practitioners and the JSB aims to provide access to a wide range of learning material. The site currently provides information on the work of the JSB, the events it runs and links to the publications it produces. The JSB intends to add links to key legislation, sites containing legal materials and to other judicial training bodies. Details of books, magazines, publications by other bodies, conference materials and reports from non JSB events will also be included. Work is taking place to add a separate portal for Lay Magistrates in the near future, together with resource materials specific to their role. Consideration is being given to allow access to certain areas by means of a password in order to allow JSB’s core customers, judicial office holders, exclusive access to certain areas of the site. The JSB plans to assess use of the website through the review exercise referred to under Strategic Objective No. 1, or through a separate survey depending upon the timing of the completion of the site. The JSB plans to monitor and up-date its entries on other websites such as that of the EJTN (www.ejtn.net). The management of judicial officers’ training records is carried out through Cyborg, a computerised Human Resources and Training system. The system was introduced during 2005 with the intention of improving the JSB’s records management systems and permitting access to management reports. Teething problems still exist and work is ongoing with JSB’s providers to iron these out. The JSB will continue to review the use of Cyborg against its objectives. The JSB will also ensure that the information gathered and stored in its database is treated as highly confidential and that appropriate data protection mechanisms are in place in accordance with relevant legislation. TARGET – Strategic Objective No. 5 will be achieved by April 2007. (iii) Resources and structure 19
  20. 20. • Strategic Objective No. 6 – To continue to monitor and develop the JSB’s staff and ensure that the skills they have and the structure of the JSB’s teams are sufficient to meet the needs of its business. The JSB’s core business has doubled in the last two years with the JSB’s aim now being to run 10 events for judges each term. Attendance at events run by the JSB E&W and JSC has increased, as has attendance at international events. Two years ago the JSB assumed responsibility for Lay Magistrates’ training. Staffing numbers have risen in order to meet these increased needs and a recent internal audit review confirmed that the numbers and levels of staff, and structure of teams, meet business needs at present. The JSB will actively keep this under review as, given the trend of the past 2 years, business levels are likely to continue to rise. The increase in business anticipated with the probable addition of tribunals training will be considered as part of the recommendations due to go before the Board later this year. It is probable that the addition of tribunals’ training will involve an increase in staffing levels. The JSB comprises two lawyers and staff trained in trainer skills. New entrants to post receive both local and corporate induction training. The training needs of staff are regularly reviewed through the Northern Ireland Court Service Performance Management System and job specific training needs are met thus ensuring that staff have the skills necessary to carry out the JSB’s business effectively. TARGET – Strategic Objective No. 6 will be achieved on an ongoing basis. • Strategic Objective No. 7 – To continue to make representations regarding budget allocation and monitor JSB’s financial resources to ensure that they are sufficient to meet business needs, and are spent in a cost effective manner. In order to meet the needs of the business increase referred to in Strategic Objective No. 6 the JSB has successfully bid for increased funds on an annual basis, albeit the funds received have not always been as much as would be useful. It is essential that the JSB secures sufficient funds in order to deliver its business successfully in the future. The JSB will continue to provide detailed bids to Resource Management Branch before the commencement of each new financial year and monitor expenditure carefully throughout each year. It will also monitor expenditure to ensure 20
  21. 21. that the service it delivers provides value for money. The increase in business in relation to tribunals training will be reflected in future bids. TARGET – Strategic Objective No. 7 will be achieved on an ongoing basis. (iv) Identity • Strategic Objective No. 8 – To establish a corporate identity for the JSB which accurately reflects its business aims and values. The JSB has moved from being a direct part of the Northern Ireland Court Service to becoming a part of the Office of The Lord Chief Justice in order to become more ‘judge driven’ and establish its own independence. The JSB plans to establish its own corporate image which will be reflected on the JSB website, publications and stationery. TARGET – Work on Strategic Objective No. 8 will be completed by April 2007. 21
  22. 22. 6. STRATEGIC RISKS This section identifies the external pressures and drivers that may place the achievement of the JSB’s strategic objectives at risk. By identifying these risks, and planning to manage them (see Part 7 below) the JSB will do its best to ensure that its strategic objectives are met. Changes in training needs – changes in the needs of new appointees will affect JSB training policies, as will changes in the duties currently assigned to judicial office holders. An increase in the JSB customer base, for example through the inclusion of tribunals training, will impact on its business. Judicial release time – as JSB business levels increase, it becomes increasingly difficult for operational colleagues to cover courts. The time which judicial office holders can spend on training is not infinite. The JSB may be constrained in the future by the amount of time judges are permitted to spend on training activities. Constitutional and organisational change – as constitutional reform beds in and the anticipated new unified tribunals system is implemented, the JSB can expect new roles and relationships to emerge. Any major changes reflected in civil justice reform and the family jurisdiction will also affect business. Technology changes – The use of new technology in courts and in the wider justice system, as well as changes in the IT capabilities and access to information and communications technology by the judiciary, will affect not only the training and support which the JSB supplies in technology related skills, but also the range of media, training tools and training delivery available to us. Sufficient resources – levels of funding and the appropriate number and level of staff are subject to review by the Northern Ireland Court Service, JSB’s sponsoring department. The JSB’s strategy is based on an anticipated level of sufficient resources for the next 3 years. 22
  23. 23. 7. STRATEGIC RISK MANAGEMENT The JSB will manage the risks identified in Part 6 above in the following ways. Maintaining effective stakeholder relationships – in order to assist mutual identification and planning of training to support change, representatives from key judicial tiers sit on JSB Committees. In addition, the JSB Committees and JSB staff maintain effective stakeholder relationships with key players within the Northern Ireland Court Service and in other jurisdictions. A close relationship with the Office of the Lord Chief Justice is also an important factor in managing risk in this area. Horizon scanning – external risks are managed by monitoring the environment for changes, in particular relating to new legislation, constitutional and administrative changes and technological shifts. Agreements and protocols – The JSB is an independent body which means that its relationships with stakeholders should be expressed formally in protocols such as Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) or Service Level Agreements (SLA). The JSB has established a MoU with the Judicial Appointments Commission and a SLA with the Northern Ireland Lay Magistrates’ Association. Plans are underway to review the SLA within the next year and the MoU will be reviewed the following year. The JSB plans to establish similar protocols with other stakeholders in particular with relevant business areas within the Northern Ireland Court Service, for example, Business Support Group. The JSB aims to have such protocols in place by December 2006. Work management systems – at operational level, risk registers are maintained by the JSB. Risks in relation to business objectives flowing from strategic objectives are identified through the business planning process, and contingency plans put in place. Regular budget forecasting and monitoring is carried out. Staff levels are kept under review and skills and knowledge monitored through the performance management system. 23
  24. 24. 8. CONCLUSION This strategy document sets out the JSB’s vision and aims for the next three years. Further details of how the JSB will deliver that vision will be contained in its business plans. The JSB aims to improve its service at all times and adapt to change in order to build on that service. Through the successful delivery of our strategic objectives the JSB aims to continue to pursue excellence in the training field for Northern Ireland judicial office holders, optimising the benefits which come with being a small jurisdiction and establishing its business as a model of excellence in the judicial training arena. The Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland 12th May 2006 24

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