From the Judicial Service Act
The Supreme Court has come up with the Judicial Accountability Guidelines (see main story on pg 1) where Drangpons at all levels can be censured, suspended and even removed for violating the Judicial Code of Conduct.
This educational article lists out the Judicial Code of Conduct for Judges as outlined in chapter 10 of the Judicial Services Act 2007.
Intrinsic to all provisions of this Code are precepts that independence of the Judiciary is neither the right nor the privilege of Drangpons, but it is the right of all the consumers of Justice.
An independent, competent and impartial Judiciary is essential to uphold the rule of law, guarantee fair trial, protect the rights and ensure access to Justice.
Judicial Code of Conduct
A Drangpon shall conduct himself in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the Judiciary.
A Drangpon shall perform his judicial duties without fear, favour, bias or prejudice.
All Drangpons shall, individually and collectively, respect and honour judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in the Judicial System.
A Drangpon shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamour or fear of criticism.
A Drangpon shall at all times be conscious that he is under the public gaze and there should be no act or omission which is unbecoming of the high office.
A Drangpon shall hear courteously, enquire and decide impartially.
A Drangpon shall exercise the judicial function independently on the basis of the Drangpon’s assessment of the facts and in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law.
A Drangpon shall maintain order and decorum in proceedings before him. He shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, Court staff and others subject to his influence, direction and control.
A Drangpon shall knowingly, while a proceeding is before him, not make any comment in public or otherwise that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of such proceeding or impair the fairness of the process. This prohibition shall not apply in the case of making public statements for the due discharge of the Drangpon’s official duties.
A Drangpon shall disqualify himself from participating in any proceedings in which he is unable to decide the matter impartially or in which he has conflict of interest. Provided that disqualification of a Drangpon shall not be required if no other Court can deal with the case or, because of urgent circumstances, failure to act could lead to a serious miscarriage of justice.
The taking of photographs in the courtroom while the Court is in session or the broadcasting or televising of Court proceedings is permitted only to the extent permitted by the Drangpon or authorized by an order of the Supreme Court.
A Drangpon shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office or power, any act prejudicial to the rights of any other person knowing that such an act is unlawful or contrary to the law.
A Drangpon shall devote his professional activity to judicial duties, which include not only the performance of judicial functions and responsibilities in Court and the making of decisions, but also other tasks relevant to the judicial office or the Court’s operations.
A Drangpon shall maintain high moral standards and refrain from involving in moral turpitude.
A Drangpon shall refrain from indulging in habits of associating with litigants and behaviour that infringe upon the performance of official duties or tarnish the image of a Drangpon or the Judiciary.
A Drangpon shall not accept any gifts, presents or benefits.
A Drangpon shall not engage in financial and business transactions in which he may have a conflict of interest.
A Drangpon shall declare his assets and liabilities to the Registry of the Court.
A Drangpon shall be apolitical and not associate with any political organization.
A Drangpon shall not serve as the executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, or other fiduciary, except for the estate, trust, or person of a member of his family.
A Drangpon shall not be a witness to any private documents and agreements nor be summoned to verify any private documents and agreements executed.
A Drangpon shall not be a member of any commission, committee, association, arbitration board, or any other organization that may affect the independence of the Judiciary.
A Drangpon shall exercise the power of appointment, promotion or performance evaluation on the basis of merit, avoiding nepotism and favouritism.
A Drangpon shall submit the list of those cases which are unduly delayed and pending before him.