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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Code of conduct for members of the Judiciary of Jersey

The following resolution regarding the code of ethics and conduct has been adopted by the Jersey Judicial Association for all those exercising judicial functions in Jersey.

“WHEREAS the Jersey Judicial Association was established on 12th July 2004 and is composed of all those exercising judicial functions in the Island of Jersey;

AND WHEREAS the Bailiff and Jurats of the Royal Court have from time immemorial set standards of judicial probity for the Island’s judiciary governed foremost by conscience and a faithful regard to their Oaths of Office, they now acknowledge that it is desirable to lay such standards down in writing;

NOW, therefore, the Jersey Judicial Association has, with the approval of the Bailiff, adopted the following Code of Ethics and Conduct for all members of the judiciary in Jersey”.

 1.   Members of the judiciary shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary and perform their duties with competence, diligence and dedication.
 2.   Members of the judiciary shall decide cases assigned to them within a reasonable time, according to the means and resources placed at their disposal by the Government of Jersey and to the volume of work assigned to them. They are to ensure that justice is done by giving each party a fair hearing according to law.
 3.   In order to be able competently to perform their respective judicial functions, members of the judiciary shall, within the limits of the means and resources that the Government of Jersey places at their disposal, keep themselves informed regarding developments in legal and judicial matters affecting their particular functions.
 4.   Members of the judiciary shall carry out their duties with dignity, courtesy and humanity. Furthermore, they are to ensure as far as practicable that good order and decorum are maintained in the courtroom where they preside and that every person conducts himself accordingly in court.
 5.   Members of the judiciary shall at all times show respect towards their colleagues, and particularly towards the judgments they pronounce.
 6.   Members of the judiciary have every right to administer their personal assets and property in the manner most beneficial to them. However, they shall not engage in any activity which is in its very nature incompatible with the office they hold.
 7. (a)  Members of the judiciary shall not exercise any profession, business or trade which conflicts with their judicial obligations.
  (b)  Members of the judiciary shall not hold any office or post, even though of a temporary, voluntary or honorary nature, and may not perform any activity, which, in the opinion of the Bailiff, may compromise or prejudice their independence or the performance of their duties or functions.
 8.   Members of the judiciary have a right to their private life. However, in this context, members of the judiciary are to ensure that their conduct is consistent with their office and that it does not tarnish their personal integrity and dignity, which are indispensable for the performance of their duties.
 9.   Members of the judiciary shall not join any political organisation, association or body, nor one which, by reason of its nature or purpose, could conflict with judicial independence or impartiality; nor shall members of the judiciary participate, provide financial assistance or show support for any such organisation, association or body.
 10.   Members of the judiciary shall not, while out of court, discuss cases that are pending in court. Members of the judiciary should discourage persons from discussing, in their presence, cases that are sub judice.
 11.   Members of the judiciary shall carry out their duties according to the dictates of their conscience, objectively and without fear, favour or partiality, and in keeping with the laws and customs of the Island. They shall decide cases objectively and solely on their legal and factual merits.
 12.   Members of the judiciary shall conduct themselves, both in court and outside court, in such a manner as not to put in doubt their independence and impartiality or the independence and impartiality of the office which they hold.
 13.   Members of the judiciary shall not disclose to others the content of discussions between members of the court when reaching a decision in a case.
 14.   Members of the judiciary shall not give evidence as character witnesses for any person, particularly if the said person stands accused of a crime, unless compelled by law or in cases involving relatives, and in other cases after having consulted with and obtained the approval of the Bailiff. Official notepaper should not be used other than for official purposes.
 15.   Members of the judiciary shall not sit in a case where they have a financial or other interest or where the circumstances are such that a fair minded and informed observer, having considered the given facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the member was biased: in all other cases they are bound not to abstain from their duty to sit.
 16.   Members of the judiciary shall not accept any gifts, favour or benefit which might possibly influence them in the proper fulfilment of their judicial duties or which might give an impression of improper conduct.
 17.   Members of the judiciary shall not comment or grant interviews to the media or speak in public on matters which are sub judice. In general, members of the judiciary shall not seek publicity or the approval of the public or the media.
 18.   Members of the judiciary shall notify the Bailiff if they are convicted of any criminal offence, whether in the Island or elsewhere, other than an offence involving speeding or unlawful parking.
 19.   If any member of the judiciary is in doubt whether his or her conduct might be contrary to any provisions of this Code, he or she should consult the Bailiff so as to secure a ruling in advance in relation to that proposed conduct.

17th July 2007
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