This seminar focussed on developing judicial communication skills in the courtroom. Developed in in collaboration with senior judges and communications experts, this program helped judges from a range of experience levels effectively communicate with the people who appear in front of them and better manage the courtroom.
The objectives of this program were to assist judges to: communicate authentically with the people who appear in their courtrooms, within the scope of the judicial role; develop core communication skills, focusing on voice, content, non-verbal communication, and effective listening; recognize and counteract unconscious biases; employ communication tools to manage difficult litigants and challenging courtroom environments; and ensure that courtroom
communications do not further traumatize those appearing in court.
This seminar used a highly interactive skills-based approach to teach and practice communication skills in the courtroom. Throughout the seminar, short lectures from experienced judges and communications experts taught core communication skills, as well as skills around recognizing and counteracting implicit bias and communicating with individuals who have experienced trauma. These lectures were supplemented by intensive small group work, where judges were given an opportunity to practice these skills and receive personalized feedback from their peers and from the faculty.