Strasbourg, 18 November 2002

CCJE (2003) 25
English only

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Questionnaire on judges’ training: reply submitted by the delegation of Netherlands

Questionnaire on Judges, Training

A. Initial training

1. There are two different kinds of initial training:
a. The so-calIed "raio" 1-training is for prospective judges ( or prosecutors 2) with none or hardly any juridical experience. The trainees are appointed as civil servants. The training has a compulsory character and lasts six years in total.

b. A training that lasts one year for prospective judges who have at least six years of juridical practising experience. This training is not compulsory .The employing court decides which part of the training the prospective judge should do. 2. Only for those who are appointed as "raio", the requirement to undergo the training is stipulated in law and regulations. 3. Any kind of training for (prospective) judges and/or prosecutors is being run and financed by the Dutch state. It is free of charge to the individuals since they are appointed as civil servants. 4. Yes, the institute is called -in Dutch -Studiecentrum Rechtspleging (SSR). In English it is: Study and Training Centre for the Judiciary. It used to be a private foundation, founded by the Netherlands' Association for the Judiciary and financed by the Dutch government. It has been transformed into a stately service in January of the year 2002. 5. The institute is not only responsible for the training of (prospective) judges, but also for the training of (prospective) public prosecutors. It provides initial training as well as the education permanente for both judges and public prosecutors. There are about 80 people (civil servants) working at SSR.

6. Everything that a prospective judge needs to know: the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude.
Next to this more or less theoretical training, the prospective judge practises the judicial work as a trainee in a court.

7. In the "raio"-training every part of the training (mostly after six months) ends with a formal assessment interview, which leads to admission to the next phase of the training or another try (mostly) in another court or to dismissal of the trainee.

B. In-service training

1. Yes, see above (lb.) All subjects necessary for a judge to be are covered

2. The training is optional

3. The training is run by SSR.

4. Because judges' independence is very high valued, many judges claim that compulsory training is a threat for their independence. However, new developments in the Dutch judiciary will distinguish more between judicial independence as regards content and the operational management of a court with all its instruments.

5. Every court can draw up its own plan for training newly appointed judges. Although SSR has a specific training ( which consists of several separate modules) for these judges, they cannot be obliged by SSR to do this training. In the Netherlands is no law or regulation that makes this or any training
compulsory .Only the court in which the judge is appointed has ( very limited) powers to enforce a training to a judge.

1 “raio” is a Dutch abbreviation and means: magistrate-in-education
2 in the Netherlands the “judiciary” include not only the judges, but also the public prosecutors

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