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Comparative Judicial Ethics in the Digital Age (Program)

Karen Eltis, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (Canada) (Moderator); Yigal Mersel, District Court Judge (Jerusalem, Israel); Frances Kiteley, Ontario Court of Justice Judge (Canada); Stephen Bindman, Canadian Centre for Court Technology (Canada); and Maura R. Grossman, Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (US)

Comparative Judicial Ethics in the Digital Age

What happens when judges, in light of their role and responsibilities, and the scrutiny to which they are subjected, fall prey to a condition known as the “online disinhibition effect”? More importantly perhaps, what steps might judges reasonably take in order to pre-empt that fate, proactively addressing judicial social networking and its potential ramification for the administration of justice in the digital age? The immediate purpose of this panel is to generate greater awareness of the issues specifically surrounding judicial social networking and to highlight some practical steps that those responsible for judicial training might consider in order to better equip judges for dealing with the exigencies of the digital realm. The focus is on understanding how to first recognize and then mitigate privacy and security risks in order to avoid bringing justice into disrepute through mishaps, and to stave off otherwise preventable incidents. This panel endeavors to provide a very brief overview of the emerging normative framework pertinent to the judicial use of social media, from a comparative perspective, concluding with some more practical (however preliminary) recommendations for more prudent and advised ESM use.

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