Skip to main content

Guide to Judicial Conduct – Revised March 2018 (Updated March 2020)

|General|Guidance

This Guide to Judicial Conduct has been fully revised. It is intended to offer assistance to judges, coroners and magistrates about their conduct.

It is based on the principle that responsibility for deciding whether or not a particular activity or course of conduct is appropriate rests with each individual judge.

This Guide is therefore not a code, nor does it contain rules other than where stated. Instead, it contains a set of core principles which will help judges reach their own decisions.

The revisions explained:

New Revision Published March 2018 This revision incorporated changes ensuing from the Equality Act 2010,increased media interest in the judiciary and the legal process resulting in intensified public scrutiny of judicial conduct and decision making. It also provided new guidance on questions and concerns presented about the use of social media.
First Adjustment Published March 2019 Amendment to page 19, which clarifies the Judicial Conduct Committee Investigation Office (JCIO) does not consider complaints about recusal as it relates to judicial decisions. Though, the JCIO could become involved if an appeal court determined that a failure to declare a potential conflict of interest was so serious as to raise a question of judicial misconduct.
Third Adjustment Published March 2020 Amendments to pages 7&8 which refers to the publication of the message from the LCJ and SPT in September 2018 setting out expectations in respect of equality and diversity and the removal of the reference to earlier guidance superseded by it.