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National Judicial Institute

Good Judgment: Judicial Decision-Making and Judicial Method


This program presented best practices in judicial decision-making at the trial and appellate levels.


The objective of this seminar was to provide trial and appellate judges with skills to review and improve their approaches to decision-making.


This seminar was planned by trial and appellate judges in collaboration with legal academics. Through a combination of lectures and small-group discussions, participants considered topics such as: exercising judicial discretion; independence and impartiality in a diverse society; the role of the judge in a constitutional democracy; critical issues in constitutional cases; the approaches to novel cases; and the modern principle of statutory interpretation.

One session explored the topic of judging with independence, impartiality, and compassion. The session considered the duty to judge using an independent and impartial mind in a diverse society. Questions considered included:

  • How does a judge ensure that they are truly impartial?
  • When should a judge decline to sit because of reasonable apprehension of bias?
  • What does it mean to judge with compassion?


Oct 24th -
Oct 27th 2017

Number of Participants



Applying PrecedentJudgment WritingJudicial DiscretionJudicial EthicsJudicial SkillsSocial ContextStatutory Interpretation