Lady Justice Hallett, chairman of the Judicial College, says she wants to ensure that judges take into account the social context of offending.
The BBC's legal affairs correspondent, Clive Coleman, says the public do tend to think that some judges are out of touch but they also recognise that they are of "high intellectual calibre" and that they are "fundamentally un-corrupt".
"There is a high degree of public confidence" in judges, he says.
Leading criminal barrister Paul Mendelle QC says it is "vitally important" for judges to know what's going on in society but he says the public would be "very surprised at how much in touch judges are".
"I have watched The Only Way Is Essex," he admits.
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