Advise to the Education of Judges in Greenland

LEARN | RIGHT supports the Courts of Greenland in educating people with no law degree to become judges in just two years through focus on:

· Clear learning objectives within the three learning dimensions: knowledge, skills and values/attitudes
· Participation oriented teaching
· Interactive learning methods
· Continuous evaluation

Since 2016 LEARN|RIGHT has contributed to ensuring a strengthened education of Judges in Greenland. We are part of the engine room with the Court in Greenland, where we contribute to strengthening the framework for the two-year education in the form of advice and input to the curriculum, course descriptions, semester calendar, teacher guide with activity catalogue, and evaluations.

We are responsible for the ongoing pedagogical sparring with up to 20 teachers about the programme development of the almost 50 courses, where we keep a sharp focus on participant logic and interactive learning methods.

We follow the graduates closely through our participation in the semester introductions and through our ongoing collection of their feedback on the courses through online questionnaires.

For each course, we prepare a final report with a documentation of the course program and materials and recommendations for any future initiatives in relation to the learning environment, teaching methods or content. Finally, we are responsible for clarifying the candidates’ need for repetition through self-evaluations, as well as for the pedagogical scaffolding of the participants’ project assignments.

LEARN|RIGHT has contributed to the education of judges in the 2017-19 programme and 2018-20 programme as well as the ongoing 2019-2022 peogramme. Prior to the 2018-20 programme, LEARN|RIGHT prepared a report with documentation for and evaluation of the 2017-19 programme based on the ongoing course feedback, document review and an evaluation workshop with participants and organisers. In the evaluation, we brought a number of recommendations for the upcoming education, curriculum, course descriptions and teacher guide, which have formed the basis for building an even stronger framework for the education.

LEARN|RIGHTs director, Maria Løkke Rasmussen, has worked in and with Greenland since 2007 and has substantial knowledge of Greenlandic culture and the education and justice system.

The Greenlandic justice system and  the Judge Education

The Greenlandic justice system is in many ways unique. Not only does it cover an enormous land with a very small population that is spread across the coast-line, it is also bilingual and does not operate with the term punishment. The judges, criminal defenders and prosecutors in the district courts in Greenland does not have a traditional law degree.
The Greenlandic justice system focuses on the resocialization and rehabilitation of the perpetrators. This requires linguistic and cultural insight to assess how a perpetrator is best rehabilitated. This is one of the reasons that the judges in the local courts are laymen and not with law degree, as people with law degrees often come from Denmark and does not have the necessary cultural understanding.
It has been mandatory since 2010 for the Greenlandic judges to complete a specially formalized education. The Greenlandic Judge education has been improved continually and in 2014 a curriculum was developed, to which Maria Løkke Rasmussen, later director of LEARN | RIGHT gave input. The curriculum gave structure to the Judge Education and contributed to a greater focus on learning objectives and strengthened the link between the theoretic and practical elements of the education. The Greenlandic Judge Education under the 2014 curriculum have been completed twice.