This statement sets out the standards of behaviour expected from all judicial office holders in and outside the hearing room; with each other, staff and users.
Treating people fairly, with courtesy and respect is reflected in our oath to “do right to all manner of people… without fear or favour, affection, or ill will.”
We all have a responsibility to help foster a positive working environment, where diversity is recognised and valued, and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We are one judiciary; no-one should feel that they are perceived as ‘less than’ because of their differences, personal or professional background, judicial office or jurisdiction. Therefore, we should all:
- treat others fairly and respectfully;
- be mindful of the authority we have and be careful not to abuse it;
- be aware of how our words and behaviour can affect others;
- remain patient and tolerant when encountering difficult situations;
- act professionally and courteously, including under pressure, and avoid shouting or snapping;
- aim to ensure that no one in a hearing room is exposed to any display of bias or prejudice;
- build effective working relationships with and support judicial colleagues and staff;
- welcome and support new colleagues; and
- be open to feedback if we have done something that may have caused discomfort or offence.
If you see or experience bullying, harassment or discrimination or other behaviour that falls short of these expectations, you may raise it informally with the individual concerned if you feel comfortable or alternatively with your leadership judge, magistrate or another leadership judge. If you want to use a more formal route you may use the Judicial Grievance or whistleblowing procedures or report it to the Judicial Conduct Investigation Office.
This statement builds on, and does not replace, the Guide to Judicial Conduct; and makes it clear that the same standards of behaviour are expected between judicial office holders as they are towards staff and users.
Support is available through nominated judicial office holders, judges with portfolio responsibility for welfare, HR Advisors and the Judicial Helpline. Information can be found at Judicial Intranet | Grievance, reporting wrongdoing and whistleblowing (judiciary.uk).
Upholding the contents of this statement will help us to foster and experience an inclusive and safe working environment, feel valued and be more confident to challenge unacceptable behaviour.