JCU Welcomes Judge Nicola Russo to the Continuing Education Course “Skills Development”

On April 29, JCU hosted judge Nicola Russo, Chief of the Department of Judicial Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, and Board Member (Consigliere Direttivo) of the Scuola Superiore di Magistratura. Judge Russo shared his professional experience with the students of Professor Andrea Mazzeo’s “Skills Development” course, held in the context of the Italian Continuing Education program “Human Resources Management.”

Nicola Russo

Nicola Russo

Professor Mazzeo began by underlining certain similarities between a judge and a recruiter. Both of them have to evaluate others, and the result has an impact on people’s lives: a judge decides whether a person is guilty or innocent, whereas a recruiter determines whether a candidate will be hired or not.

Judge Russo explained that the risk of jobs that require close interaction with others is that you might identify with the person in front of you. This is a common struggle for judges, doctors, and psychologists, to name a few, because their actions have a direct impact on other people’s lives. For this reason, judge Russo said that you must always differentiate between who you are and what you do. In his job, he must have an open attitude, listen carefully, and avoid preconceptions. As he said, it is impossible not to have prejudices, but a judge must always keep them under control and not let them affect his final decision.

Professor Mazzeo asked the judge if he was ever scared about the importance of his decisions and the impact they have on people’s lives. Judge Russo said that, especially at the beginning of his career, he was scared, but he later realized that fear and doubts helped him in his evaluations and decisions. A judge should always have doubts, because that means that he is able to tame his/her prejudices.

Judge Russo said that the only way to tame fear and doubt is to lean on the professional tools that your job provides you with. In a trial, the most important thing is not the result, but following the rules. This means that, sometimes, you have to accept a completely different outcome than what you were expecting or hoping for. On the one hand, this can be challenging for you as a person, but, on the other, you can be professionally satisfied by knowing that you applied all the rules correctly.

Professor Mazzeo underlined that recruiters also have to apply an objective method when they evaluate candidates and decide whether or not to hire them. During assessments, candidates have to go through different selection steps and interface with multiple recruiters to make sure that the evaluation is impartial.

Judge Russo concluded by saying that job satisfaction comes from discipline and honor, which are also mentioned in the Italian constitution. Discipline refers to the fact that you need to follow the rules, especially if you have a public role and your work has an impact on others. You need to be prepared and have well-grounded knowledge. Honor refers to the integrity and steadfastness that should always keep you in balance, in spite of the mistakes you might make during your career.

(Giorgia Tamburi)