Commercial Court judges

IN FRANCE, THE JUDGES THAT RULE ON COMMERCIAL MATTERS IN THE FIRST INSTANCE ARE COMPANY OWNERS ELECTED BY THEIR PEERS. THEY EXERCISE THEIR DUTIES ON an UNPAID, VOLUNTARY BASIS. IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE PUBLIC COMMERCIAL JUSTICE SYSTEM MEETS THE NEEDS OF BUSINESSES AND OTHER ECONOMIC STAKEHOLDERS, THE NATIONAL SCHOOL FOR THE JUDICIARY (ENM) PROVIDES BOTH INITIAL AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING TO THESE NON-PROFESSIONAL JUDGES. THE ENM HAS BEEN TRAINING THEM SINCE 2003 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF COMMERCIAL COURT JUDGES (CONFÉRENCE GÉNÉRALE DES JUGES CONSULAIRES DE FRANCE) AND IS THE SOLE ORGANISER OF THESE COURSES, AS PROVIDED FOR BY DECREE No. 2018-664 OF 27 JULY 2018 ON THE INITIAL AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING OF COMMERCIAL COURT JUDGES. IT IS THE SCHOOL'S SPECIALIST PROFESSIONAL TRAINING DEPARTMENT THAT PROVIDES THEIR TRAINING.
INITIAL AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING FOR COMMERCIAL COURT JUDGES BECAME MANDATORY ON 1 NOVEMBER 2018.

(french document)

AIMS

Often faced with business disputes of a highly technical nature, commercial court judges have a duty, like any other judge, to know the law they are applying and to perfect their practices. Their training at the ENM must therefore provide them with knowledge of the fundamental principles of justice: the role of the judge, principles of impartiality, general and professional ethics and compliance with procedures. As they are called upon to administer justice in the commercial courts, they are obliged to master some complex legal techniques. Initial and in-service training provided is intended to enable them to fulfil their duties in optimum fashion and to harmonise professional practice.

TRAINING

Initial training – 6 modules over 8 days

The initial training course is mandatory for all newly-elected judges. Consisting of 6 modules lasting 1 or 2 days, the course is held every year starting in November on regional sites covering several courts of appeal. The trainers are mixed teams of commercial court and professional judges. Commercial court judges must have completed their training within 20 months of being elected.
 

In-service training courses – 1 to 2 days

Commercial court judges must complete 2 days of mandatory in-service training every year.  They can freely choose a session from among those organised by the ENM. The courses available cover all the types of cases dealt with by commercial court judges, both general business disputes and the handling of companies in difficulties.
Run by the ENM, these courses may either be specially for commercial court judges or they may also be open to professional judges and even other participants. They take place in Paris or in the regions.
Practical internships officially validated as in-service training are also organised in the commercial divisions of the courts of appeal and with the commercial, financial and economic division of the Court of Cassation.