JUDICIAL (CODE OF CONDUCT) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ADJUDICATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

   3.   Independence and impartiality

   4.   Officer not to discriminate

   5.   Discharge of duties

   6.   Disqualification from adjudication

   7.   Waiver of disqualification

   8.   Non-disclosure to members of public

   9.   Ex-parte communication

   10.   Administrative responsibilities

PART III
EXTRA-JUDICIAL ACTIVITIES

   11.   Extra-judicial activities

   12.   Public report

   13.   Membership to non-governmental organisations

PART IV
FINANCIAL MATTERS

   14.   Financial matters

   15.   Gifts

   16.   Fiduciary activities

   17.   Practice of law

PART V
POLITICAL AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

   18.   Political activity

   19.   Appointment to office, application for employment, etc

PART VI
JUDICIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY

   20.   Judicial Complaints Authority

   21.   Secretary and other staff

   22.   Immunity of members

   23.   Allowances of members

   24.   Functions of authority

   25.   Procedure for complaint

   26.   Receipt of complaint by clerk of court

   27.   Powers of authority

   28.   Proceedings of authority

   28A.   Expenses of authority

   29.   Disclosure of interest

   30.   Prohibition of disclosure of information

   31.   Register of complaints

   32.   Offences

PART VII
GENERAL

   33.   Breach of code of conduct

   34.   Duty in relation to legal practitioner

   35.   Regulations

AN ACT

to provide for the code of conduct for officers of the judicature pursuant to Article 91 of the Constitution and for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[24th December 1999]

Act 13 of 1999,

Act 13 of 2006,

Act 17 of 2008.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Judicial (Code of Conduct) Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"Authority" means the Judicial Complaints Authority established under section 20;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 13 of 2006.]

“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Industrial Relations Court appointed under Article 95 of the Constitution;

“chairperson” means the chairperson of the committee appointed under section 20;

“Commission” means the Judicial Service Commission constituted under Article 123 of the Constitution;

...

[“committee” del by s 2(a) of Act 13 of 2006.]

“court” means the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Industrial Relations Court, the subordinate court, the local court or such lower court as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament;

“Deputy Chairman” means the person appointed Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Relations Court under Article 95 of the Constitution;

“Judge” means a person appointed Judge under Article 95 of the Constitution;

“judicial officer” means the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, a Judge, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Registrar, Magistrate, justice of a court or other person having power to hold or exercise the judicial powers of a court;

“legal practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it in the Legal Practitioners Act;

“member” means a member of the complaints committee;

“member of staff” means—

      (a)   the chief administrator;

      (b)   a sheriff or other officer appointed under the Judicature Administration Act, other than a judicial officer;

      (c)   Master, Deputy Master and Assistant Master of the Supreme Court; and

      (d)   such other officers or staff of any court, appointed under the Judicature Administration Act; and

“secretary” means the secretary to the complaints committee.

PART II
ADJUDICATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

3.   Independence and impartiality

A judicial officer shall uphold the integrity, independence and impartiality of the judicature in accordance with the Constitution, this Act or any other law.

4.   Officer not to discriminate

   (1) A judicial officer shall perform the duties of that office without bias or prejudice and shall not, in the performance of adjudicative duties, by word or conduct, manifest bias, discrimination or prejudice, including but not limited to bias or prejudice based upon race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinion, colour or creed and shall not permit any member of staff or any other person subject to the officer’s direction and control to so discriminate or manifest bias or prejudice.

   (2) Subject to sub-section (3), a judicial officer shall not allow a legal practitioner or other officer of the court in any proceedings before the judicial officer, to manifest, by word or conduct, bias, discrimination or prejudice contrary to the Constitution or any other law, against any party, witness, or any other person.

   (3) This section does not preclude legitimate advocacy where the social or economic status, or other similar matter are in issue in the proceedings before a court.

5.   Discharge of duties

   (1) Subject to section 6 a judicial officer shall hear and determine any matter assigned to the officer except a matter which the officer is, by law not competent to hear or determine.

   (2) A judicial officer shall not, in the performance of adjudicative duties, be influenced by—

      (a)   partisan interests, public clamour or fear of criticism;

      (b)   family, personal, social, political or other interests; or

      (c)   any other circumstances otherwise than that provided by law.

   (3) A judicial officer shall not use the office or the officer’s position to advance any private interest of that officer, the officer’s spouse, child, relation or other person or make any person believe that the officer’s spouse, child, relation or other person is in a position to influence the officer in any manner.

   (4) A judicial officer shall not testify as a character witness before a court.

6.   Disqualification from adjudication

   (1) Notwithstanding section 7 a judicial officer shall not adjudicate on or take part in any consideration or discussion of any matter in which the officer or the officer’s spouse has any personal, legal or pecuniary interest whether directly or indirectly.

   (2) A judicial officer shall not adjudicate or take part in any consideration or discussion of any proceedings in which the officer’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned on the grounds that—

      (a)   the officer has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s legal practitioner or personal knowledge of the facts concerning the proceedings;

      (b)   the officer served as a legal practitioner in the matter;

      (c)   a legal practitioner with whom the officer previously practiced law or served is handling the matter;

      (d)   the officer has been a material witness concerning the matter or a party to the proceeding;

      (e)   the officer individually or as a trustee, or the officer’s spouse, parent or child or any other member of the officer’s family has a pecuniary interest in the subject matter or has any other interest that could substantially affect the proceeding; or

      (f)   a person related to the officer or the spouse of the officer—

      (i)   is a party to the proceeding or an officer, director or a trustee of a party;

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