Course Description

Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making

Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making is a course run by Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, Dublin. It is a Blended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online course . Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making gives a Course Qualification of Diploma, awarded by Law Society of Ireland. For more information about Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please review the details below.

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • Strengthened their case-management and leadership skills;
  • Attained an understanding of the skills needed to preside over various forums, including adjudicatory, tribunal, and board roles;
  • Developed their awareness of the complexities of the decision-making process;
  • Practiced and honed their skills with respect to drafting written judgments; and
  • Increased their knowledge regarding an array of issues that have a daily impact on adjudicatory forums in Ireland, including social diversity, equality, and vulnerable witnesses.

Programme structure and approach to learning

This diploma will provide participants with case-management leadership skills and practical training on how to run a case in any forum. It will also prepare participants for adjudicatory, tribunal, and board roles, and will explore the skills needed to preside over various forums.

Practical workshops on arriving at a determination and drafting judgments will be facilitated by means of case studies and role-play sessions. An interactive online module on mediation will take a look at the challenges arising from integrating the mediation process with the legal system, examine key mediation skills and give students an insight into how the Mediation Act 2017 affects traditional court-based proceedings. The diploma also features a distinct module on awareness and sensitivity training and dealing with vulnerable witnesses and clients.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: The exercise of judicial skills and decision-making

  • Ethical considerations; types of judicial roles/quasi-judicial bodies,
  • The application and recruitment process,
  • Understanding and managing the trial process,
  • Rules of evidence from the decision-maker’s perspective.

Module 2: Mediation, managing proceedings, and administering justice

  • Mediation overview from a judicial perspective,
  • The effect of the Mediation Act 2017,
  • Functions and duties of chairpersons of a board.

Module 3: Written judgments and decision-making skills

  • Drafting written judgments,
  • Proceedings involving litigants-in-person,
  • Assessing credibility; assessing expert evidence.

Module 4: The social context of law

  • Examination of cultural diversity in Ireland,
  • Independence and accountability,
  • Equality legislation and inclusion,
  • Consistency in sentencing,
  • Dealing with vulnerable clients or witnesses.


Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice.

*Selected workshops will form part of the continuous assessment for the course.

Workshop Title Date Time
1 Avoidance of bias & stereotyping Saturday 15 October 2022 10:00am – 3:00pm
2 Mediation Saturday 05 November 2022 TBC
3 Roleplay exercise Wednesday 16 November 2022 6:00pm – 8:00pm
4 Functions and Duties of a Board Saturday 26 November 2022 10:00am – 3:00pm
5 Drafting Written Judgments Wednesday 30 November 2022 6:00pm – 8:00pm
6 Personal Leadership Saturday 14 January 2023 10:00am – 3:30pm

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and other relevant professionals who wish to develop the skill-set necessary for adjudicatory, tribunal, and board roles, or the skills necessary to preside over various forums,
  • Directors or other relevant professionals seeking to gain necessary training with regard to overseeing decision-making processes in a corporate environment.

We welcome applications from others who are suitably qualified. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €300.


Final written assignment (60%) and continuous assessment (40%) based on participation and completion of workshop assignments.


Lecturers are drawn from members of the judiciary in Ireland both past and present, leading barristers and solicitors, and members of independent public bodies. Tutors are drawn from experienced trainers in the relevant area, both from this jurisdiction and internationally, and from other legal practitioner experts.

Past speakers have included:

  • The Honourable Ms. Justice Marie Baker, Supreme Court, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Peart, retired Court of Appeal Judge, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice John A. Edwards, Court of Appeal, Ireland,
  • The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald Binchy, Court of Appeal, Ireland,
  • Her Honour Judge Petria McDonnell, Circuit Court, Ireland,
  • Tina Bond, deputy district judge on the North East Circuit England and Wales,
  • His Honour Judge Colin Daly, President of the District Court, Ireland,
  • His Honour Judge John O’Connor, Circuit Court, Ireland,
  • His Honour Judge Keenan Johnson, Circuit Court Ireland,
  • Judge Patrick McMahon, retired District Court Judge, Ireland,
  • Geraldine Clarke, Gleeson McGrath Baldwin Solicitors and former President of the Law Society of Ireland,
  • Bob Semple, Consultant,
  • Dr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD,
  • John Kennedy SC,
  • Stephen O’Hare, CEO, HIV Ireland.


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2022 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme  and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2022. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year.

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The Diploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making course at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course TypeBlended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course QualificationDiploma
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsDiploma in Judicial Skills & Decision-Making
Course Start Date12th October 2022
Course End Date25th January 2023
Course TimeLectures Wednesdays and occasional Saturdays with interactive workshops. Also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee3000
For more information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
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