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Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ)

Mastering the Skills of Judgment Writing—joint program with NJI

Overview

Mastering the Skill of Judgment Writing—presented jointly by the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice and the National Judicial Institute—was an intensive program developed to help judges take their judicial writing skills to an advanced level. The sessions featured extensive small-group work and individualized feedback on writing problems from experienced judicial faculty and experts on judicial writing.

Objectives

The seminar was designed to help members of the judiciary align their judgment’s structure with their view of the case’s issues. The goal was to improve communication skills with multiple and complex audiences. Additionally, this seminar helped judges communicate their decision and reasoning more efficiently and comprehensibly. This completed the objective of improving professional writing skills, from drafting and organizing, to revising and editing.

Summary

The seminar was separated into various sessions:

  • How to identify the issues clearly and use them to make conscious choices about structure, including adopting an issue-driven structure;
  • How to develop an effective introduction that identifies the issues and provides a map to the structure of the judgement;
  • How to provide context before details to increase clarity for the audience;
  • How to craft paragraphs that are clear, graceful, and easy to read;
  • How to craft strong, active sentences that reinforce messages and match rhetorical goals;
  • How to edit the judgment’s organization to help readers navigate through it and grasp its logic more easily;
  • How to edit in stages for clarity, tone and voice.

Date

Apr 22nd -
Apr 26th 2018

Number of Participants

16

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