The International Committee has worked with the “Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature (ENM)” to place twenty of its trainee judges with English and Welsh chambers specialising in criminal and family law for five weeks over February and March. The intention is that the trainee judges (auditeurs de justice) will gain an understanding of legal practice in England and Wales; in par ticular publicly funded work.

To give the judges a warm introduction to London and the Bar Council, the International Committee organised a welcome event to coincide with their first day in chambers. Presentations were given on the Bar Council (James Dingemans QC), the comparison of the position of the victim in both the French and English legal systems (His Honour Judge Brooke QC), Opening up the family cour ts and forced marriage (Mrs Justice Parker) and Contemporary issues in criminal law (His Honour Judge Kramer). The group then attended the Dame Ann Ebswor th Memorial Lecture, followed by a small reception to meet the tutors, hosted by Desmond Browne QC. The International Committee were pleased to hear more about the judges’ training programme from Jean-François Thony, Director of the ENM.

This placements programme builds on long relationship the two jurisdictions have had through The Paris Bar Exchange coordinated by His Honour Justice Brooke and the EU Comparative Research Project which took place in 2003-4.