Initiatives within Courts

Reflective Practice: Supporting Judicial Resilience
County Court of Victoria

In October 2014, the County Court of Victoria created the ‘Supporting Judicial Resilience Program’ as a six month pilot to support the wellbeing of County Court judges, especially in terms of judges exposure to vicarious trauma. Following an independent evaluation, the program is now available to all County Court judges. In this article, published in the Law Institute Journal (September, 2015), Judge Felicity Hampel explains the rationale for the program and the process of establishing and piloting the idea.

This webpage will be continuously updated with new initiatives. To include information about other court-led programs or initiatives to support judicial wellbeing, email the Judicial Wellbeing Project Advisor

Information to Support Courts in Developing Programs

Workplace prevention of mental health problems: Guidelines for organisations
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

These comprehensive guidelines on organisation strategies for preventing occupational stress and mental illness, are based on a systematic analysis of the consensus of a panel of experts. It provides an evidence-based template approach to developing a comprehensive mental health and wellbeing strategy within organisations.

TJMF Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession 
Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (2014)

Based on similar guidelines prepared for the Canadian profession, TJMF’s Guidelines identify and delineate 13 evidence-based factors which indicate the psychological health of a legal workplace, and set out how each of these may be implemented at varying levels, from basic to best practice, within a organisation. There are currently more than 80 signatories to the Guidelines around the country, including all major law firms and law schools.

Judicial College of Victoria 

Judging Stress
Carly Schrever (2015)

This article, published in the Victorian Law Institute Journal, makes the case for robust, empirical research on judicial stress in Australia, and summarises a series of initiatives currently underway in Victoria to support judicial wellbeing.

Future Judicial Wellbeing Programs  

“Judicial Wellbeing: The Self and the System”, August 2017

This highly interactive, solution-focused program builds on the inaugural judicial wellbeing program held in 2015. 

It explores not only the strategies individual judicial officers can implement to manage the pressures of the role, but also the structural and systemic changes courts could implement to minimise the judiciary’s exposure to stress and vicarious trauma.

A number of places are being held for interstate and international judicial officers. If you are interested in attending, email Carly Schrever (Judicial Wellbeing Project Advisor):

Past judicial wellbeing programs

Note: The following resources are only available to judicial officers via JOIN (a secure intranet for Victorian judicial officers) 

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JOIN Login

The Judicial Officers Information Network (JOIN) is an online resource for judicial officers and their support staff. JOIN ensures judicial officers have access to legislation, judgments, publications including benchbooks and manuals, sentencing statistics and legal reference material.

JOIN is for work use only. All users must agree to the terms and conditions before using it. The Judicial College supplies and manages the username and password.