FOR EASTERN CARIBBEAN SUPREME COURT JUDGES
A JUDGE SHOULD UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
An independent and honourable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and should personally observe those standards, so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved. The provisions of this Code should be construed and applied to further that objective.
- Deference to the judgments and rulings of courts depends upon public confidence in the integrity and independence of judges. The integrity and independence of judges depend in turn upon their acting without fear or favour. Although judges should be independent, they should comply with the law, as well as with the provisions of this Code. Public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is maintained by the adherence of each judge to this responsibility. Conversely, violation of this Code diminishes public confidence in the judiciary.
- These Canons are rules of reason. They should be applied consistent with constitutional requirements and other law, and in the context of all relevant circumstances. The Code is to be construed so as to enhance the essential independence of judges in making judicial decisions.
- The Code is designed to provide guidance to judges and nominees for judicial office. The Code may also provide standards of conduct for application in proceedings under the Courts Order, although it is not intended that disciplinary action would be appropriate for every violation of its provisions
- Whether disciplinary action is appropriate, and the degree of discipline to be imposed, should be determined through a reasonable application of the text and should depend on such factors as the seriousness of the violation, the intent of the judge, whether there is a pattern of improper conduct, and the effect of the improper conduct on others or on the judicial system. Many of the proscriptions in the Code are necessarily cast in general terms, and it is not suggested that disciplinary action is appropriate where reasonable judges might be uncertain as to whether or not the conduct in question is proscribed. The Code is not designed or intended as a basis for civil liability or criminal prosecution.
- The purpose of the Code would be subverted if the Code were invoked by lawyers or litigants for mere tactical advantage in a proceeding.