Code of judges ethics

DRAFT

Reviewed by the Council of Judges of the

Russian Federation on December 3, 2009

CODE OF JUDGES ETHICS

The independent and impartial justice and the judges’ professional activity in the administration of justice are not possible without the judicial community’s corporate discipline, their professional ethics and each judge’s due care for his own honor and dignity, as well as for the honor and dignity of the judicial power in general.

Abiding by the requirements prescribed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the laws on the judicial system and the judges’ status in the Russian Federation, the judges of the Russian Federation, being guided by the generally accepted principles and norms of the international law, with the purpose of guaranteeing the right to a fair court trial of a case by a competent, independent and impartial court, which can be expected by any person and society in general from courts and judges called to protect human rights, and also with the purpose of setting the judges’ conduct standards as a basis of confidence in the judicial power and the quality of justice and keeping up professional ethics and dignity, being aware of their moral responsibility before society for appropriate administration of justice, adopt this Code of Judges Ethics.

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL

Article 1. Subject of regulation

1. The Code of Judges Ethics based on moral criteria and the norms of the laws of the Russian Federation on the judicial system and the judges’ status and international recommendations in the sphere of justice administration, prescribes the principles and rules binding on each judge in his professional activity in the process of administration of justice and in his off-duty activities.

The necessity to comply with the Code of Judges Ethics ensues from the judge’s status, from the very fact of a concrete person being conferred with the judge’s powers and the judges’ duty to make a final decision on the issues of the citizens’ freedom and personal inviolability, their rights, duties and property.

2. This Code, being a corporate act of the judicial community supplements and makes more concrete the rules of conduct set by the Russian Federation laws on the judges’ status.

3. No provision of the Code of Judges Ethics shall be construed as limiting the fundamental rights and liberties of the persons holding the offices of judges, being guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, or permitting any actions contradicting the requirements of the Russian Federation laws on the judges’ status.

Article 2.

1. The Code of Judges Ethics shall be applicable to all judges in the Russian Federation, including those in retirement.

2. The rules of professional conduct in the process of justice administration set by this Code shall be applicable also to the persons engaged in the administration of justice pursuant to the federal law.

3. The Court Chairpersons and judges shall inform the assistant judges, court session clerks and other court staff of the contents of this Code and shall ensure their compliance with this Code in the part applicable to them conformably to their status of civil servants of state.

4. In those cases, where any issues of judges’ ethics are not regulated by the laws of the Russian Federation or this Code, the judge shall be governed by the general moral and ethical principles of conduct in society and by the international recommendations in the sphere of justice.

5. If a judge is uncertain whether his conduct conforms to the requirements of professional ethics or whether his off-duty conduct is compatible with the judge’s status, if a judge is not sure how to act in a difficult ethical situation so as to stay independent and impartial, he may address the Ethics Commission of the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation for explanations, which cannot be withheld.

CHAPTER 2. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS TO JUDGES’ CONDUCT

Article 3. Compulsory character of the requirements of the laws and the Code of Judges Ethics

1. The judges shall be independent and subject only to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the law. In their justice administration activities the judges shall not be accountable to anybody.

2. In the process of performing his justice administration duties the judge shall proceed from the fact that the protection of human and civil rights and liberties determines the essence and content of the judicial power bodies’ activities.

3. In his professional and off-duty activities the judge shall abide by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws and federal laws; he shall be governed by the Russian Federation Law “On the Status of Judges in the Russian Federation”, the norms of procedural legislation and other legal acts, the principles and rules of conduct prescribed by this Code and generally accepted norms of morality and ethics, he shall strictly conform to the judge’s oath.

4. Compliance with the Code of Judges Ethics shall be the judge’s strong conviction, his life rule strengthening the society’s confidence that justice is administered in an independent and impartial manner.

Article 4. Justice administration priority

1. Justice administration activity shall have priority over any other activity for the judge.

2. For the whole duration of his term of office the judge shall not engage in any activity, which is not compatible with his independence and impartiality and with the requirements ensuing from the character of the judge’s work and his justice administration activities.

3. The judge cannot engage in any other paid activity, except teaching, research work, creative and other lawful activity which shall not prejudice his performance of judge’s duties.

4. The judge cannot evade considering applications, petitions and complaints delivered to him, except in the cases requiring self-disqualification, as well as taking part in studying and generalizing judicial practices, developing proposals aimed at improving the laws on judicial system, judges’ status and law enforcement practices, and working in the judicial community bodies.

Article 5. Requirements ensuing from the judges’ status

1. The judges shall have high moral qualities and satisfy the requirements set to the level of professional training and competence.

2. In any situation the judge shall keep personal dignity, value his honor and avoid everything that may prejudice the authority of the judicial power, damage the judge’s reputation and cast doubt on his objectivity, independence and impartiality in the process of justice administration.

3. The judge shall exercise his civil rights and perform his civil duties in good faith.

4. The judge and the judge’s family cannot demand or accept the benefits not prescribed by the laws of the Russian Federation (loans, interest-free credits, monetary and other emoluments, services, payment for entertainment, recreation, transport fares), if the same are caused by the actions that the judge has performed or is planning to perform, or by the judge’s inaction in connection with his performance of the judge’s official duties.

5. The judge shall not use his status for the purpose of gaining any boons, services, commercial or any other benefits for himself and for his family, friends, acquaintances (e.g.  receiving credits, concluding other agreements on the conditions different from those offered to other persons), or profit from his status when contacting different state authorities and bodies of local self-government on personal issues, or receive remuneration connected with his justice administration duties not from the federal budget.

6. The judge shall not use his official position in civil law relations not connected with professional activities, and he shall refrain from making agreements fraught with financial liabilities with the persons dependent on him by virtue of his official position, or being a party to civil, criminal or administrative cases in proceeding with the court, whose judge such judge is, or with a lower court.

7. The judge shall be aware of his personal estate and sources of its formation and take reasonable measures to obtain information about the estate and material interests of all members of his family. 

8. The judge shall not act himself or allow other persons act in a way that may lead to a conclusion that any person is exerting an influence on such judge’s performance of his duties.

Article 6. Titles, awards, gifts acceptance procedure

1. Without the permission of the relevant qualification commission the judge shall not accept honorable and special titles (except the academic, artistic and sports ones), awards and other decorations of foreign states, political parties, public associations and other organizations.

2. The gifts received by the judge in connection with protocol events, business trips and other official events shall be surrendered by such judge to his court of office, with the exception of  the cases as prescribed by the laws of the Russian Federation.

CHAPTER 3. PRINCIPLES AND RULES OF THE JUDGE’S PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Article 7. Independence principle

1. The judge shall keep up the independence of judicial power, which is the constitutional principle of ensuring the supremacy of law in the administration of justice and the main guarantee of fair court trial.

2. The judge shall stick to an independent stand as regards the society in general and as regards the persons being parties to the case which the judge is to deliver a judgment on. In the exercise of his judicial powers the judge shall act independently, based exclusively on the evaluation of facts, in accordance with his inner conviction, respecting the procedural rights of all participants of court proceedings, independently of any outside influence, inducement, pressure, threats or interference, whether direct or indirect, by any party and for any purpose.

3. The judge shall be sure of himself, engage in his professional activities in compliance with the laws, on his own and independently, and avoid anybody’s influence.

Public opinion, possible criticism of his activities, possible attempts at influence, pressure, threats or interference, whether direct or indirect, by any party, shall not affect the lawfulness and reasonableness of the judge’s decisions.

4. The judge shall declare self-disqualification on a case, if such judge or his family are exposed to pressure, threats or any other outside influence, excluding the possibility of the judge’s objective judicial act on the case. 

The judge’s waiver of his duties in the administration of justice and performance of other official duties for the purpose of personal security and his family’s safety shall be allowable, if the judge has taken every precaution in his power to ensure the organization of his own security and his family’s safety, if such measures have not been taken within a reasonable period of time.

5. The judge shall inform the persons involved in the case about any oral or written non-procedural addresses of individuals, legal entities and officers in connection with the trial of a particular case, and also if a conflict of interest arises. The judge shall also notify the chief of that or higher level court for taking response measures.

Article 8. Good faith principle

1. The judge shall perform his duties in good faith at a high professional level and he shall take all measures as may be required to examine the cases in a timely and correct manner.

2. The judge shall engage in his professional activities operatively, effectively and impartially. He shall show equal respect to the right of all parties to the proceedings to a free expression of their stand and to the dispute settlement without undue delay and excessive expenditures.

3. To ensure operative and effective work the judge shall allocate sufficient time to his professional duties, he shall be punctual in organizing and holding court proceedings and take reasonable measures aimed at organizing interaction between the court apparatus and the parties to the case, as well as other participants of the proceedings, in order to achieve the aims of the court procedure.

Where objective reasons prevent timely commencement of the court trial, the judge shall ensure notification of the parties to the proceedings and the public about the causes of the delay and the measures being taken.

4. The judge shall perform his duties in a reasonable and timely manner.

Appointing several cases for trial by the court of the first instance at one and the same time and groundless suspension of case trails, including for reasons of their not being appropriately prepared to the trial, are not compatible with the requirements of the law and professional ethics.

5. The judge shall comply with the laws regulating court procedures on civil, criminal and administrative cases, he shall take measures aimed at the organization of court trials and observing the deadlines of the judicial acts adoption and production, and at their quality improvement. The judicial acts shall be precise, understandable, motivated, objective in contents and not allowing for ambiguity at execution.

6. Justice administration in good faith is inseparably linked with the right to a fair court trial in reasonable time. In this connection the judge shall take measures aimed at observance of the terms of proceedings and prevent their violation without a reasonable excuse.

7. The judge shall promote the parties’ compromise and conciliation, and a peaceful settlement of the dispute. 

Article 9. Objectivity and impartiality principle

1. In the process of justice administration the judge shall be objective and impartial; he shall take all requisite measures to examine the case in a timely and correct manner with due knowledge of the laws and the merits of the case. The judge’s objectivity shall exclude any doubts as to his impartiality.

2. In the event of a conflict of interests the judge examining the case shall disqualify himself or disclose the situation to the participants of the proceedings.

In such case the conflict of interests shall mean a situation, where the judge’s personal interest (direct or indirect) affects or may affect the judge’s appropriate performance of his justice administration duties, and where a contradiction between the judge’s personal interests and the rights and lawful interests of individuals, organizations, society, public authority  arises or may arise, that may result in prejudice to the rights and lawful interests of such individuals, organizations, society, public authority. The judge’s personal interest, which affects or may affect the judge’s appropriate performance of his official duties, shall be understood as the possibility of the judge gaining profit from justice administration in the form of material benefit or any other unlawful advantage directly for the judge, his family or other persons and organizations, which the judge is related to by financial or other commitments.

3. The judge may refuse to examine a case only for valid reasons, which are prescribed by the law, or which may cause a conflict of interests or in any other way infringe on the interests of justice, or when the judge’s impartiality may be put in doubt, including when:

a) the judge has personal interest to or prejudice against any of the parties or personal knowledge of the facts in relation to the proceedings, which are contested by the parties.

b) the judge’s wife (husband) or a person being a close relative of any of them is a person involved in the case or any other party to that court trial.

c) ) the judge’s wife (husband) or a person being a close relative of any of them has an interest in the case being examined, which may substantially influence the progress of the proceedings, and when the court ruling may significantly affect their interests.

d) the judge is in possession of the information that may make him a witness on the merits of the said dispute.

e) the judge was earlier in the employment of a state body and in that capacity he took part in discussion and consulting on the matter in dispute, or acted as a witness on the merits, or expressed his opinion on the merits of the said dispute.

4. The judge shall avoid situations where personal relations with the persons involved in the case and other proceedings participants may cause reasonable suspicions or create an impression that the judge has any preferences or partiality. In the event of occurrence of such a situation the judge shall so inform the persons involved in the case.

5. In the event that the judge charged with examining a case spends considerable time on that work, but in the process of trial the circumstances are revealed, under which the judge himself, the judge’s wife (husband) or a person being a close relative of any of them has an interest in the case being examined, the judge need not be suspended if the judge himself, the judge’s wife (husband) or a person being a close relative of any of them abandon the interest which was the cause of the judge’s disqualification on the said case.

In such situation the judge may also inform the persons involved in the case of possible reasons for the judge’s disqualification and make a note to that effect in the record. If after such disclosure the parties and their representatives give their written consent to the judge’s further participation in the proceedings, the judge may continue to take part in the proceedings. The document to that effect shall be attached to the case.

Article 10. Equality principle

1. In the performance of his duties the judge shall be governed by the principle of equality, showing objectivity and impartiality, he shall treat all participants of the proceedings with equal attention, he shall have no prejudice of social, racial, national, sexual and religious nature and ensure the guarantees of equality of the rights of all participants of the proceedings as are prescribed by the law.

The judge shall not allow himself a biased attitude to the persons involved in the case and to other participants of the proceedings also for reasons of their property or official status, membership of public associations and political and other convictions.

2. In the performance of his duties the judge shall not show partiality to or prejudice against any person or a group of persons in words or conduct, governed by the reasons in no way related to the case.

3. The judge may demand from the persons involved in the case and from other participants of the proceedings to abstain from expressing partiality to or prejudice against any person or a group of persons, governed by the reasons in no way related to the case, except those cases which have relevance at law for the subject of litigation and may be deemed lawfully reasonable.

4. The judge shall show correctness in communication with the public, respect moral usages and traditions of peoples, take account of cultural and other specifics of different ethnic and social groups and religions, promote international and interreligious amity and avoid conflict situations that may prejudice his reputation or the authority of the judicial power.

5. In the performance of his duties the judge shall not show his religious affiliation. There shall not be any religious or similar attributes in the court premises or in the judges’ offices.

6. The judge shall perform his duties without any preferences and without actual or apparent partiality and discrimination, maintaining the balance between the parties and ensuring fair trial for each of them in reasonable time.

Article 11. Judge’s competence

1. The judge’s competence, the level of his professional training are the prerequisites of the judge’s appropriate performance of his justice administration duties.

2. The judge shall keep up his qualification at a high level, maintain and expand his professional knowledge, perfect his practical experience and personal qualities necessary for appropriate performance of his duties, using for that purpose the teaching aids and other opportunities which should be accessible for judges.

3. The judge shall be aware of changes in the laws of the Russian Federation, of the norms of  international law, including international conventions and other documents in the sphere of human rights, he shall systematically study the law enforcement practices, including those of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, European Court on Human Rights.

4. The judge shall continuously work on his professional qualification advancement and systematically take refresher courses in the advanced training system.

5. The judge cannot disclose the information received in the process of performing his duties. The judge cannot use the confidential information coming to his knowledge in his official capacity or disclose the same to any party for any other purposes, not related with the judge’s performance of his duties.

6. The judge shall comply with the culture of conduct in the proceedings, maintain order in court session and that the participants of the proceedings with dignity, patience and politeness.

The judge shall demand that the participants of the proceedings and the court staff employees behave in the same manner.

Article 12. Exercise of organizational-administrative powers

1. The judge vested with organizational-administrative powers in respect of other judges shall take necessary measures to ensure that they perform their duties in a timely and effective manner, maintaining their justice administration independence.

The judge vested with organizational-administrative powers in respect of other judges shall prevent the attempts to limit the judges’ independence, use pressure and other methods of administrative impact on the judges for the purpose of influencing their decision making on the case.

2. Administration of justice is not possible without an efficient organization of the work of the court staff. If the court management fails to appropriately organize the work of the court and its staff, this will impair the authority of the judicial power. In this connection they shall monitor the progress of cases in courts, the issue of copies of judicial acts and other documents prescribed by the laws to the persons involved in the case and timely consideration and lawful settlement of complaints and applications, and prevent red tape, rudeness and inattentive attitude to persons taking recourse to courts.

3. Court Chairpersons shall ensure equal distribution of work load among judges and court staff.

4. In the performance of their professional duties the judges shall devote themselves not only to their justice administration duties, but also to the fulfillment of other tasks, related to court activities in general, including the organization of its staff’s work.

The judge shall perform his administrative duties in good faith, maintain a high level of professional qualification in the sphere of judicial administration and promote alleviation of the administrative duties performance by other judges and the court personnel.

5. The judge shall not charge or prescribe the court personnel with any actions on behalf of the judge, which might be deemed a violation of this Code, had they been undertaken by the judge himself.

6. The judge vested with organizational-administrative powers in respect of other judges shall exercise his right to appoint officers in good faith, avoiding unreasonable appointments, patronage and nepotism, be correct and reserved in respect of other judges and subordinates, be tolerant of criticism of his actions and prevent direct or indirect persecution for a critical attitude to himself.

Both unlawful patronage at work (undeserved incentive, out-of-turn unreasonable promotion, other actions not caused by necessity), and connivance at work (the officer failing to impose sanctions for omissions or abuses at work, the absence of reaction to misconduct) cannot be allowed.

7. The court management – Court Chairperson and his Deputies – shall take all requisite measures to ensure that the other judges perform their duties in a timely and effective manner. Such measures include the issues of financial-material, every day character (appropriate medical service, housing problems solution), organizational issues (even distribution of cases, work place organization and labor conditions, clerical work), personnel issues (advanced training, incentives to judges, appropriate functioning of the court staff, including the actual availability of assistant judges and court session clerks).

8. The judge shall demand that the court staff and his direct subordinates – assistants, court session clerks – comply with the general principles of office conduct of the civil servants of state, prescribed by the official regulations, maintain a high professional level, abide by the rules of ethical conduct and comply with the restrictions, limitations and obligations prescribed by the Russian Federation laws on civil service of state.

Article 13. Relations with mass media

1. In his relations with mass media the judge shall show discretion, maintain independence and impartiality, avoid using his relations with mass media for private purposes, as well as any unreasonable statements on the cases examined by him.

2. The judge cannot make public statements, comment on court rulings, speak out in the press on the merits of the cases in court proceedings before the judicial acts adopted on them come into legal force. The judge cannot cast doubt on court rulings, which have come into legal force, and criticize his colleagues’ professional actions in public outside the framework of his professional activity.

At the same time the judge may criticize the court rulings and his colleagues’ conduct inside the judicial community to prevent the conservation of shortcomings in the sphere of the administration of justice, to prevent and eliminate infringements on the constitutional and international-legal principles of publicizing (openness) of court procedure.

3. The judges subjected to criticism shall be bound by the obligation to show discretion, which excludes their responding to criticism themselves.

Under these conditions the comments of the courts’ and the Russian Federation Supreme Court bodies’ press services are possible, as well as those of the judicial community bodies.

4. The judge cannot prevent mass media from covering the court activities. The judge’s actions aimed at preventing mass media from access to the court sessions, covering the case proceeding process, shall be deemed a violation of professional ethics, except in the cases prescribed by the law.

5. The judges shall promote the objective coverage of the activities of the courts and judges by mass media, because it is not only in the interests of the judicial community, but also it is an important social function, a duty of mass media forming public opinion.

6. In the event that the judges’ activities are covered not objectively, the decision about how to respond to unfavorable mass media comments shall rest with the judge, based on his lawful rights as a citizen. However, owing to the ethical and moral norms and the special status of a person vested with judicial authority, the judge’s personal recourse to law enforcement authorities or to mass media for protection of his human rights and dignity is advisable when other methods of response have already been expended or seem impossible.

CHAPTER 4. PRINCIPLES AND RULES OF

THE JUDGE’S OFF-DUTY CONDUCT

Article 14. Off-duty activity principles

1. In his off-duty activities and off-duty relations the judge shall avoid everything that may impair the authority of the judicial power and the judge’s dignity and cast doubt on his independence, impartiality and equity.

2. The judge may engage in different off-duty activities, including teaching, research work, creative work, public work, charitable and other activities, and take part in different public events, unless the same are in contradiction with the laws on the status of judges in the Russian Federation.

3. The judge shall not engage in those off-duty activities and take part in those public events, which presuppose profiting from the judge’s high status, hinder the judge’s performance of his professional duties, have a negative effect on the judge’s independence and impartiality, result in frequent requests for the judge’s disqualification or self-disqualification or trespass the limits set by the laws on the status of judges in the Russian Federation.

4. The judge shall not use the court premises, resources and personnel for carrying out his off-duty activities.

Article 15. Participation in law and legislation development activities

1. The judge may deliver public reports and lectures, write articles and books, take part in scientific forums and conferences, engage in teaching work, and also engage in other activities referred to the sphere of law, legislation and justice.

2. The judge may take part in public hearings on the issues of law, legislation, justice and judicial practices held by the legislative and executive power bodies, to the extent that it may be perceived as an expression of his own position based on his personal experience and knowledge in the area of his specialization.

3. The judge may take part in the events aimed at the development of law, improvement of legislation, development of judicial system and perfection of the administration of justice.

Article 16.  Limitations related to off-duty activities

1. The judge shall not act as an umpire or arbiter, as a mediator in disputes settlement and perform any similar duties outside the framework of his professional activities, except in the cases prescribed by the federal laws.

2. The judge cannot practice as an attorney or other lawyer and provide legal services. However, the judge may represent himself before judicial bodies, give consultations and render other legal assistance to his family without charging any fee for such services.

3. The judge cannot occupy any other offices of state, positions in civil service of state, municipal offices and positions in municipal service.

However, the judge may represent the Russian Federation and a Subject of the Russian Federation at ceremonies or in connection with historical, educational and cultural events.

Article 17. Participation in public activities

1. The judge may take part and be a member of non-profit public organizations, including the professional, charitable, educational ones and other similar organizations, complying with the limitations prescribed by paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this Article.

2. The judge shall not join the organizations which are frequently involved in court proceedings or which will be frequently involved in such proceedings with a high degree of probability, both in the court, where the said judge holds office, and in any other court.

3. The judge shall not give consultations to such organizations on the issues of investments and render them legal assistance on the issues being in the sphere of court trial.

4. The judge shall not take part in fund raising in favor of such organization or appeal to its members to take part in fund raising, if such appeals may be interpreted as coercion or are in essence an extra means of increasing the amount of money raised; also, the judge shall not use the judge’s authority for the said purpose himself or allow other persons to use it in that way.

Article 18. Interaction with the bodies of state power and local self-government

1. The judge may interact with the bodies of legislative and executive power and with local self-government bodies on the issues of law, legislation, judicial system, at the same time avoiding all that may cast doubt on his independence and impartiality and preventing the attempts at exerting an influence on him on behalf of officers of the said bodies.

2. The judge shall abstain from public statements, judgments and evaluations in respect of the activities of the bodies of state power and local self-government and the heads of those bodies.

3. The judge shall not take part in the activities of committees and commissions formed by the bodies of state power and local self-government, if in the essence their aims are different from the improvement of legislation and legal and judicial system, if such participation causes obstacles in the judge’s performance of  his professional duties as a judge or undermine the society’s confidence in the authority of the judicial power or casts doubt on the independence and impartiality of the administration of justice.

Article 19. Participation in financial activities

1. The judge cannot engage in business activities in person or by proxy, inclusive of taking part in managing a commercial organization.

2. The judge may make investments and manage the same, including real estate, as well as derive profit from other sources, e.g. from leasing out real estate, provided such activity does not presuppose the use of his status as a judge. The judge shall also abstain from such financial activity if it presupposes frequent deals and long-term relationships with attorneys or other persons, who will be involved in legal proceedings in the court, where the said judge holds office, with a high degree of probability.

3. The judge shall suspend investments and other financial interests, which may be a reason of doubt about the judge’s independence and impartiality, and of frequent requests for the judge’s disqualification.

4. The judge may act as an executor or any proxy only with respect to the estate and person of a member of the judge’s family. In performing his duties as a proxy the judge shall act in the framework of the same limitations, which cover his activity in that capacity and in his own name.

Article 20. Remuneration received in connection with off-duty activities

1. The judge may accept remuneration and compensation of expenses for teaching work, research and other creative work, provided he complies with limitations prescribed by the laws on the status of judges in the Russian Federation and paragraph 2 of this Article.

2. The judge may receive the payments as described in paragraph 1 hereof, provided the source of such  payments does not create an impression that he is exerting influence on the judge’s performance of his professional duties, if the size of the judge’s remuneration is compatible with the size of the remuneration received for similar activities by other persons, and if the size of the remuneration received for off-duty activities does not exceed the size of the remuneration received by the judge for his professional activities.

5. The judge shall duly disclose the information about his financial status, the estate he possesses by ownership right and his property liabilities, as well as the information about his wife’s (husband’s) and underage children’s income and about the assets held by them by ownership right and their property liabilities.

Article 21. Gifts

1. The judge and his family residing with him cannot accept the assets as a gift, under a will or in debt, with the exception of the cases prescribed by the federal law and paragraph 2 of this article.

2. The judge may accept: a gift as a public acknowledgement of the judge’s services, provided the value thereof does not exceed the amount prescribed by the federal law and the gift is not presented by the person often representing a party in legal proceedings; a gift of books and other reference materials from publishers for use in the judge’s professional activities; gifts from relatives, colleagues and friends on the occasion of special events, e.g. birthdays.

Article 22. Limitations related with participation in political activities

1. The judge shall abstain from political activities.

2. The judge shall not be a member of, head or hold any office in a political organization; speak out in support of any political organization or a candidate to an elective office, as well as publicly support or speak out against a candidate to an elective office; take part in fund raising, pay dues or accord financial support to any political organization or a candidate, or attend the events sponsored by a political organization or a candidate; publicly express his political views, take part in marches and demonstrations of a political character, or in any other political actions.

Article 23. Freedom of expressing an opinion

1. The judge shall exercise freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the right to take part in associations and meetings. At the same time, the judge shall always behave in such a way as not to impair the judge’s status and respect to his office, he shall maintain independence and impartiality.

2. Every judge enjoys a right to freely express his opinion. That right includes the freedom to stick to his opinion and the freedom to receive and spread information and ideas without any interference on behalf of public authorities and without regard for state borders.

3. The judge shall show reserve when exercising his freedom of expressing an opinion in all cases, where doubt may be cast on the authority and impartiality of the administration of justice.

4. The judge shall exercise his freedom of expressing an opinion in such a way as may be compatible with the dignity of the office held by him. He shall abstain from public statements or comments which may undermine the authority of judicial power or cause reasonable doubts about its impartiality.

Article 24. Participation in professional organizations

1. The judge shall enjoy the freedom to create judges’ associations or any other professional organizations and the right to join the same for protecting their own interests and the interests of justice, improving the judges status, their professional training and maintaining their judicial independence.

2. The professional organizations created by judges, which the judges may join on a voluntary basis, in particular, promote the protection of the rights vested in the judges by their status, first of all, before the bodies of state power taking part in decision making about the judicial system and the judges’ status.

3. The judges’ opinion about the issues of changing their status, setting the conditions of their remuneration and social security shall be heard at the sessions of the judicial community bodies.

4. The judge shall declare his powers suspended if he is nominated candidate to the office of a deputy of a legislative (representative) power body of the Russian Federation, a legislative (representative) power body of a Subject of the Russian Federation, a representative body of local self-government or any other elective office.

CHAPTER 5. CONCLUSIVE PROVISIONS

Article 25. Liability for breaches of the Code of Judges Ethics

In the event that a judge does not comply with the Code of Judges Ethics, that his conduct or actions are not compatible with the judge’s status, impair the authority of the judicial power, undermine confidence in the court, its independence, impartiality and fairness, he shall be subject to liability pursuant to the law on the status of judges in the Russian Federation.

Article 26. Definitions used in the Code of Judges Ethics

1. For the purposes of the Code of Judges Ethics the following concepts shall be used:

Judge’s relatives – husband, wife, parents, children, parents by adoption, children by adoption, blood brothers and sisters, as well as grandfather, grandmother and grandchildren.

Judge’s husband (wife) – persons living in registered marriage, and also those in actually marital relations.

Judge’s family – husband, wife, parents, children residing with the judge.

Persons involved in justice administration – jurymen, people’s assessors and arbiters, lawfully involved in justice administration.

Article 27. Effective date of the Code of Judges Ethics

1. The Code of Judges Ethics shall come into force on the date of its approval by All-Russian Congress of Judges.

2. From the date of approval of this Code the Code of Judges ethics approved by 4th All-Russian Congress of Judges on December 2, 2004, shall become null and void.

  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

 



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