Initial training of judges and prosecutors in the European Union




There is no initial training for the Estonian judges prior to beginning their work as a judge. Once the new judges have been appointed, they’ll get access to the training of judges organised by the Supreme Court’s Legal Information and Judicial Training Department and the Judicial Training Council.

A short overview of the training of judges can be found here.

There’s a special training program for new judges to improve their professional knowledge and skills. This is a compulsory training program for newly appointed judges and it includes legal training and skills training.

The program includes the following training activities:

  1. The conduct of court proceedings and court hearings
  2. Compiling a resolution
  3. The ethics of judges
  4. Time management skills training
  5. Social skills and conflict management skills training
  6. Mediation skills training
  7. How to use legal information databases
  8. Public speaking and media training
  9. Estonian language training.

The first six trainings are mandatory for judges and must be passed within three years.


General description

There is no such initial training for Estonian prosecutors. After being appointed as a prosecutor, he or she has to pass the preparation programme that lasts for four months. That is what we call initial training and it is compulsory for every newly appointed prosecutor. During these four months they already works as a prosecutor. This preparation programme is an individual programme, every new prosecutor has a mentor.

Access to the initial training

The programme is compulsory for every new prosecutor and is automatically implemented for everyone.

Format and content of the initial training

The aim of the preparation programme is to provide advice on how to support and mentor the next generation of prosecutors as a professional and open organisation.

The preparation programme and the choice of supervisor will be based on the previous work experience and background of the person to be supervised, and on an individual basis for each person supervised.

At the beginning of the preparatory programme, the Human Resources Department will organise an introductory programme at the Office of the Prosecutor General. The programme covers the requirements for prosecutors and the Code of Ethics, an introduction to the work of the Surveillance Department (including the resolution of complaints), an overview of the Prosecutor's Office's guidelines for dealing with the media, and training on the use of various registers necessary for work and the handling of state secrets.

During the preparation program, the supervised person will be required to visit:

  • Local police prefecture
  • Local county court (incl. civil court), circuit court
  • Probation supervision department and victim support
  • Prison, arrest house

In addition, the following authorities will be visited, where possible:

  • Supreme Court
  • National Criminal Police
  • Estonian Forensic Science Institute
  • Tax and Customs Board

The compulsory areas of substantive and procedural law in the preparation programme are:

  • Pre-trial proceedings
  • Court Proceedings
  • Responding to complaints

During the introductory period, all prosecutors may participate in and attend ongoing training courses on the training schedule.

Termination of the initial training and qualification process

There is no exam. The mentor of every new prosecutor evaluates the results of the preparation programme.

Last update: 19/06/2023

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