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Judicial Ethics from Around the World: Roles, Responsibilities and Unique Challenges

Judicial Ethics from Around the World: Roles, Responsibilities and Unique Challenges (Program)

Nadire Özdemir, Ankara University Faculty of Law (Turkey); Olena Ovcharenko, National Law University (Ukraine) (Moderator); Grzegorz Skrobotowicz, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland); and Anna Ruchala, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)   

Judicial Ethics from Around the World: Roles, Responsibilities and Unique Challenges

Nadire Özdemir: Care Ethics and Family Court Judges

Family courts are specialized institutions that centralize on legal issues related to family. It is claimed that beside their judicial roles as solving legal problems, modern family courts also have rehabilitative roles with respect to caring family members’ problems and trying to help them. This second role leads us to think more about family court judges’ obligations. In this regard, the ethics of care is a significant approach in consideration of the family court judges’ legal responsibilities. 

In this paper, I will first discuss family courts in general and then the family courts and judges of Turkey in particular. Finally, I will discuss the role of family court judges and their responsibilities in light of the ethics of care. 

Olena Ovcharenko: European Standards of Judicial Ethics and Ukrainian Experience: Challenges and Perspectives

The rules of judicial ethics, developed and approved by the judicial community, contain important references for professional and day-to-day conduct of judges. Complying with ethical requirements is an essential duty of a judge that derives from his constitutional and legal status. Judicial ethics, based on universal moral imperatives, are efficient internal corporate mechanism to ensure judicial accountability to the civil society. Sources, incorporating ethical standards of judicial profession, are classified by criteria of their legal force: (a) constitutional rules that regulate the legal status of judges, (b) laws that determine the duties of a judge, and (c) acts of the judicial community that approve the Code of Judicial Ethics. International legal standards of judicial ethics, including the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct (adopted by resolution No. 2006/23 on July 27, 2006 of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations), play an important role in the process of bringing the judges under responsibility.

Violation of judicial ethical rules serves as a basis for the legal responsibility of a judge, if it is accompanied with violation of procedural law or judicial duties. The Higher Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine and the High Council of Justice assess unlawful actions or inactions of a judge, including orientation of his intent and the consequences that come as a result. The initial criterion for imposing sanctions on a judge should be the result of his misconduct, including violations of rights and fundamental freedoms of persons who were participants in the proceedings.

Grzegorz Skrobotowicz and Anna Ruchala: Interviews with Judges of the Supreme Court in Poland

Ethical dilemmas are part of every person’s life. In view of a chosen career path, they can have a greater or smaller significance. In that case, is the position of a judge, a person who decides on the subsequent fortunes of another person, sometimes even until the end of that person’s life, particularly prone to ethical dilemmas? Is there a universal method of dealing with ethical quandaries that the judge uses while passing a sentence? How often does it happen that the judge doesn’t fully agree with the rule of the law and believes that the natural law is more appropriate? These questions, among others, are the topic of interviews conducted by the panelists with Judges of the Supreme Court in Poland. 

Lecturers are going to discuss whether the longstanding experience in the judiciary, rulings in various instances, or a transition from another branch of the juridical profession influences the way of perceiving such moral dilemmas. What is more, have the motives of taking advantage of the conscience clause or the Radbrucian formula shifted across the years, especially in face of the political changes that occurred in Poland at the close of the twentieth century.