The protection of the rights of free citizens depends upon the existence of an independent and competent judiciary. The task of maintaining judicial competence depends on the willingness of the judiciary itself to assure that its members are knowledgeable and skilled in the study of the law and its development, and that judges are trained in the application of legal principles and the art of judging. The personnel employed within the judicial system must also maintain a high level of competence to assist judges in carrying out their responsibilities and to provide accurate and timely services to the public. To the end that judicial independence and competence might be preserved and reinforced as essential elements of our system of government, the Arizona Supreme Court established an educational system for all judges and employees of the Arizona judicial branch in 1983.
The Education Services Division is responsible for maintaining a statewide system of judicial education and overseeing compliance with judicial education standards. This is accomplished by managing funding for statewide and local training; maintaining a resource pool of faculty; coordinating a network of 100 training coordinators; and managing reporting and compiling compliance with education standards. The division also provides ancillary services to the Arizona Judicial Branch such as curriculum development, educational program development, and audio/visual support for events and programs.
Division staff coordinate seminars, workshops, conferences, and computer-based training for judges, probation officers, and 18 identifiable non-judge court system job categories. Each year, the division produces more than 100 programs reaching over 7,000 participants.
COJET Standards & Requirements
Although the term "COJET" refers to the Committee on Judicial Education and Training, it is often used by judges and judicial branch employees to reference education and training requirements. The COJET standards and requirements are outlined specifically in Arizona Code of Judicial Administration Section 1-302 . In general, each member of the Arizona Judicial branch must complete a minimum of 16 hours of COJET-accredited continuing education each year, including at least one ethics program. All COJET-accredited programs must meet certain procedural and substantive standards outlined in the COJET Code . Some judicial branch job classifications, such as probation officers and judges, must complete mandatory orientation programs of up to 120 hours. In addition to a branch-wide compliance rate that is consistently above 98%, many Arizona judicial branch employees and judges significantly exceed the annual minimum education and training requirements as they work towards competence, professionalism and excellence.
JUDICIAL EDUCATION CENTER
3003 N. Central Ave. #500
Phoenix, AZ 85012