All judges in England and Wales are trained by one body, the Judicial College. Judges receive a full induction course before starting their careers on the Bench and continue to receive training throughout their judicial careers.

The Judicial College's training programme is designed to ensure that all judges discharge their judicial functions effectively and to enhance public confidence in the justice system. The programme includes courses on substantive law, evidence and procedure, training on judicial skills and the social context within which judging occurs.

From 2000 to 2014 a team of leading academic lawyers from the University of Oxford played a key role in the provision of substantive law training given to judges in contract and tort law. All three members of the team are leading researchers in these fields. Andrew Burrows is Professor of the Law of England and a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls. Edwin Peel is Professor of Law and a Fellow of Keble College. John Cartwright is Professor of the Law of Contract and Tutor in Law at Christ Church.


Drawing on their own research and paying specific attention to issues of current significance and areas of new and uncertain development, the Oxford team provided detailed and comprehensive analysis of recent judgments on contract and tort law, in the form of seminar presentations and accompanying course materials.

Covering a range of areas, recent seminars on contract have covered the law relating to remedies and, in particular, damages, the law relating to the interpretation and implied terms, pre-contractual forms of liability in particular misrepresentation, and the enforceability of agreements to agree, or to negotiate. Training on torts included the development of new approaches to causation in negligence in the context of industrial disease and clinical negligence, vicarious liability and the proper boundaries of negligence liability. 

“Their contribution to the maintenance of judicial excellence has been enormous. This is my opinion, backed by the evaluations of the many hundreds of judges who have heard them. At a time when the law is ever changing, academic treatises on the current state of the law have been invaluable. I record our collective thanks."

Mr Justice MacDuff, formerly responsible for overseeing the delivery of education for judges in civil law