This course provided judges with a range of issues relating to social context in hearing cases in both civil and criminal matters. The seminar provided judges with a forum to assess and enhance their intercultural competence.
This program focussed on a number of concrete and practical objectives. These included: enhancing the participants’ understanding of the importance of intercultural competence in the courtroom; recognizing the existence and influence of one’s own cultural background; building intercultural competence; making the best decisions possible by appropriately taking culture into consideration when assessing evidence and rendering decisions; and better managing courtrooms by identifying and responding to different cultural orientations in culturally sensitive ways.
Faculty delivering the course included a diversity expert, judges with expertise in human rights law, academic experts on culture, and practitioners with experience in issues of cultural difference and social discrimination. The program included a combination of lectures, panel presentations, videos depicting emerging intercultural dynamics, role-playing scenarios and small groups. Topics included: intercultural competence and diversity; translating diversity concepts into the legal context; understanding different Indigenous perspectives; and taking culture into consideration when assessing evidence and making decisions.