Abstract: The term ‘social context’ refers to the idea that judging is grounded in the human condition and the society in which it takes place. It is probably no coincidence that ‘differences and disadvantages’ rooted in social context are often at the heart of what makes cases difficult or contentious. Judicial education addressing social context assists judges to respond effectively to these challenges. This paper discusses ten principles to guide social context and gender judicial education, derived from twenty years of experience at Canada's National Judicial Institute. These principles propose that judges must lead this education and should receive support and training to enhance their skills as social context educators. Non-judges also have an important role to play in ensuring that programs are credible, in-depth and comprehensive. The content of programs should be shaped around practical challenges that judges face when confronted with social context factors, and designed to reflect best practices in adult education. Local customization is beneficial as is thorough integration of social context throughout the judicial education curriculum. The value of providing social context and gender education through a judicial education organization is also considered.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/09695958.2015.1029487
Journal International Journal of the Legal Profession
Citation
Dawson, B. (2014). Judicial education on social context and gender in Canada: principles, process and lessons learned. International Journal of the Legal Profession, 21(3), 259–280. doi:10.1080/09695958.2015.1029487