The Judicial Studies Committee (JSC) is the body responsible for the on going training of the members of the judiciary. It assists judges and magistrates in skills training and continued professional development mainly through seminars conducted by both local and foreign experts and speakers. The JSC is composed of four (4) members, two appointed by the Chief Justice and two members appointed by the Minister responsible for justice, and acts under the general direction of the Chief Justice. Judge Joseph D. Camilleri was the first chairman of the JSC, and he served in that position after he retired on 21 October 2009 until 1 September 2015. On 1 October 2015 Judge Michael Mallia was appointed as the second chairman of the JSC. On 1st October 2021, Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi was appointed as its third chairman. The Hon. Madam Justice Joanne Vella Cuschieri is the Vice-President of the Committee.
The JSC was officially launched on 17 October, 2003. On that occasion the Chief Justice highlighted the main objectives of the JSC:
“The JSC has various objectives, focusing mainly on the training and continuing education of the judiciary. It aims at identifying the training needs of members of the judiciary, organising induction courses for newly appointed members of the judiciary, and organising lectures, seminars and courses. Other objectives of the Committee are to inform members of the judiciary of recent legal development through the use of information technology, to issue updated papers on aspects of judicial work and to promote international co-operation in matters relating to judicial training.”
The main speaker at the launching was His Hon. Judge William Rose, at the time Director of Studies of the Judicial Studies Board of England and Wales. During 2003 the British High Commission in Malta sponsored two visits by Judge Rose to assist and advise the JSC on how to go about to establish a structure aimed at providing judicial training. Judge Rose presented a report which was subsequently discussed by members of the judiciary during a seminar held in October 2003.
The Judicial Studies Committee organises regular seminars and conferences for members of the Judiciary together with various local and international entities on various topics of legal and factual interest to the Judiciary. Throughout the years the JSC has worked closely with Judicial Studies Board of England and Wales, the Lord Slynn of Hedley European Law Foundation, the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA), the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX), the DG Enlargement of the European Commission, the Academy of European Law (ERA), and the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) in the organization of conferences and seminars as well as in sending judges and magistrates to attend conferences and seminars abroad.
Formal recognition of the JSC by the Legislature came about with an amendment to Article 9 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure (Cap. 12) which specifically provides that a judge or magistrate may undertake the administration of activities within the JSC.
The post of Training Administrator is currently vacant.
The JSC is allocated a small budget every year by the Ministry responsible for Justice.
Judicial Studies Committee Statute