Today I facilitated a session on ‘Cultural Sensitivity in the Courtroom’ for the Judicial Council of Victoria today. With a combined group of Judges, Justices and Magistrates from across theState, this was a stimulating workshop examining: how to be alert to the potential impact of culture in a proceeding; how to better identify when and how culture may be relevant to a proceeding; and, to learn practical tips for managing cultural issues. 
This session involved three tailored presentations on South Sudanese, mainland Chinese and Middle Eastern (focusing on Lebanon, Syria & Iraq) community case studies. Presenters of these backgrounds discussed how a litigants cultural background my affect their interaction with the justice system , to assist judicial officers in identifying when culture may be relevant to proceedings. 
In all, the knowledge shared was substantial. Topics gleaned from conversations between participants and presenters included; parenting challenges, demeanour and language styles, pre migration trauma and PTSD, concepts of honour, shame and social face dictating community standards and the harsh reality of settlement within a cross cultural contexts impacting generations differently. 
I spoke about how underpinning this learning were constructs of implicit and cultural bias – which could potentially be unlearned with the right learning tools.  
Congratulations to the JCV for this progressive initiative. I was impressed to see judicial officers in our courts showing the desire to learn more and provide outcomes for clients premised on a concerted effort to understand their cultural complexities .