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ROYAL VICTORIAN

ASSOCIATION OF

HONORARY JUSTICES

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Code of Conduct Date Issued: Jan 2000 Policy005

CODE OF CONDUCT

Introduction

Our legal system is based on the principle of integrity and independence of the Judiciary.

This Code provides ethical standards for the promotion and preservation of these principles. This provides the minimum acceptable standard of conduct applicable to all Honorary Justices.

1. Personal Propriety and Behaviour.

(a) Honorary Justices are to maintain and promote such standards of conduct that are likely to uphold the integrity and independence of the office.

(b) Honorary Justices are to respect and comply with the law and conduct themselves in a manner to promote public confidence in the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. They are to avoid behaviour, which might bring the office into disrepute or undermine the impartiality, fairness or character of the honorary justice system.

(c) Honorary Justices are to always act impartially, not allowing their judicial conduct or decision to be influenced by their family, social or other circumstances.

(d) Honorary Justices are not to convey, or permit others to convey, the impression that they are in a special position of influence.

2. Judicial Responsibilities

(a) Honorary Justices are to give due precedence to their judicial and administrative duties, without undue detriment to their personal or business life.

(b) Honorary Justices are to perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice.

(c) Honorary Justices are to comply with the requirements of the law, and be faithful to that law.

(d) Honorary Justices are to be unswayed by partisan interests, public clamour, fear of criticism or appeal.

(e) Honorary Justices are to maintain order and decorum in proceedings before them.

(f) Honorary Justices are to accord to every person who is legally interested in a proceeding, full right to be heard according to law.

(g) Honorary Justices should abstain from public comment about any matters or proceedings subject to their jurisdiction.

3. Disqualification

(a) Honorary Justices are to disqualify themselves from any proceedings in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

(b) If it is seen that a conflict of interest may arise, a Justice must disclose all actual and potential conflicts of interest known to the Justice.

4. Administrative Responsibilities

Honorary Justices are to diligently discharge their administrative responsibilities and remain professionally competent through ongoing training.

5. Financial Dealings and Gifts

(a) Honorary Justices must not accept or receive any monies or goods in kind for performing judicial or administrative duties.

(b) Honorary Justices will refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on their impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of their judicial duties, or exploit their judicial position.

(c) Information acquired by Honorary Justices in their capacity as an Honorary Justice will not be used or disclosed by them in any way.

6. Legal Advice

Honorary Justices must not give any legal advice to any person whatsoever, unless they are also a qualified legal practitioner.

7. Public Activity

When acting in their capacity as an Honorary Justice, or when using their title, they are to refrain from public comment or activity in relation to politics.

8. Relationship with Informant & Accused

(a) Honorary Justices are to act impartially between the informant and accused.

(b) Honorary Justices must, as far as possible, refrain from personal relationships with people with whom, an association would bring Honorary Justices into disrepute.

9. Relationship with the Media

Honorary Justices are expected to avoid identification (in the media) in relation to their judicial duties.

10. Misconduct by other Justices

Honorary Justices, having knowledge, based upon reasonable and sustained grounds, that another Honorary Justice has acted in a manner detrimental to the integrity and/or independence of the Judiciary, both administrative or judicial, should report the matter to the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices, in writing.

11. Ethics Committee

Honorary Justices must respect and comply with all issues raised in this Code of Conduct. The Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices Ethics Committee will consider any alleged issue of misconduct submitted in writing. Honorary Justices so named will make themselves available to address any such allegation and accept the resultant decision.

 

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