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Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013-Part two-Appendix

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Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013-Part two-Appendix
« on: August 19, 2013, 09:47:07 PM »
Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013(Continued)
Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 1

Appendix 1: Dignity at Work statement

This document sets out the standards of conduct that the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals expect judicial office-holders to maintain in their dealings with one another and with members of staff. It supplements the Guide to Judicial Conduct and should be read in conjunction with the Lord Chief Justice?s and Senior President of Tribunals? covering letter on equality and diversity for the Judiciary.

The Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals expect all judicial office-holders to treat their colleagues and members of staff decently and with respect. They are committed to ensuring that the environment in which judicial office-holders and staff work is free from harassment, victimisation and bullying and that everyone is able to work in an atmosphere in which they can develop professionally and use their abilities to their full potential.

Allegations of such conduct will be investigated and, if substantiated, appropriate action will be taken to prevent a recurrence.

In accordance with the Equality and Diversity Policy for the Judiciary, judicial office-holders are expected to treat everyone with the same attention, courtesy, consideration and respect, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion, sex and/or sexual orientation (known collectively as ?protected characteristics?). 

Harassment, victimisation and bullying of others by means of words and/or behaviour are unacceptable. Conduct giving rise to harassment, victimisation and/or bullying may take place face to face, or by other means of communication such as a telephone call, letter, text message, email or entry on a social networking site. The conduct may consist of a continuous course of conduct or a one-off incident. It may be directed by one individual against another individual or involve a group or groups of individuals.   

?Harassment? occurs when one person perpetrates unwanted conduct (including sexual conduct) related to one or more of another person?s protected characteristics which has the purpose or effect of violating that other person?s dignity and/or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that other person.   

?Victimisation? occurs when one person subjects another person to a detriment because that other person has brought proceedings under the Equality Act 2010, has given evidence or information in connection with any such proceedings, has made an allegation that someone has contravened the Act, or has done any other thing for the purposes of or in connection with the Act.

?Bullying? carries its normal meaning. It consists of conduct that is offensive, intimidating, malicious and/or insulting and which has the purpose or effect of undermining, humiliating, and/or frightening another person. It may amount to a misuse or abuse of power. Unlike harassment and victimisation, the conduct need not be related to one of the ?protected characteristics? of the person against whom it is directed.   

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Appendix 1

Any judicial office-holder who becomes aware of behaviour on the part of any other judicial office-holder or member of staff which he or she considers to have breached the standards of conduct set out in this Statement should discuss the matter with his/her senior judicial office-holder  1. 

1  The appropriate relevant senior judge will be for:

?  Court of Appeal and High Court judiciary; together with the Senior Master, Chief Master, Chief

Bankruptcy Registrar, Senior District Judge (PRFD) and Senior Costs Judge ? the appropriate Head of Division

?  Queen?s Bench Masters ? the Senior Master; Chancery Masters ? the Chief Master; Bankruptcy

Registrars ? the Chief Bankruptcy Registrar; District Judges at the Principal Registry of the Family

Division (PRFD) ? the Senior District Judge (PRFD); Costs Judges ? the Senior Costs Judge

? Circuit and District Benches ? the Presiding Judge on circuit or his or her delegate

? District Judges (Magistrates Courts) ? the Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)

?  Tribunals? judiciary ? chamber/tribunal president or deputy president; in tribunals with a regional  structure, your leadership judge.

? Magistrates ? the Bench Chair; Bench Chairs ? the Magistrates? Liaison Judge.

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 2

Appendix 2: A brief guide to the 

Equality Act 2010

Most of the Equality Act 2010 is now in force.  The Act not only harmonises and consolidates previous anti-discrimination legislation, it also strengthens legal rights to equality and increases the range of unlawful acts of discrimination outside the employment field. In addition it places a new set of statutory equality duties on public authorities.  The equality duty (s.149) requires public authorities, in the exercise of their public functions, to have due regard to eliminate prohibited discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups of people.

Whilst the ?judicial function? is exempt from the prohibition on discrimination in the exercise of public functions, this exemption is likely to be limited to the core, adjudicative function.  Ancillary functions, e.g. training, mentoring, conducting appraisals, managerial or committee functions and conduct towards colleagues or court staff will not be exempt.   

This guide is an outline of the major provisions within the Act as they may affect the judiciary and is not intended as a definitive statement of the law.  It also includes some examples showing how the Act may impact on the judiciary.

Protected characteristics

The Equality Act identifies nine protected characteristics, or specific grounds of discrimination which it treats as suspect grounds, or suspect classifications, which are intrinsic to an individual?s dignity and autonomy.

The protected characteristics are:

? age

? disability

? gender reassignment

? marital or civil partnership status

? pregnancy and maternity

? race

? religion

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 2

? sex

? sexual orientation

(s.4EqA 2010)

The Act makes it unlawful, in a variety of ways and contexts, to discriminate against someone by reason of any one of these characteristics.

Types of discrimination as defined in the Act

Direct discrimination (s.13) occurs if a person is treated less favourably than another person is or would be treated because of their possession of one of the protected characteristics. In general direct discrimination cannot be justified.

This form of discrimination also extends to cases where someone is perceived to have the relevant characteristic.

e.g. A judge of Iraqi origin, unlike her colleagues, is not invited to the cathedral court service at the start of the legal year  ?because she is Muslim?. In fact she is not Muslim, but is perceived as such and treated less favourably because of this perception. 

Discrimination by association occurs if a person is treated less favourably, not because of a protected characteristic that she or he personally has but because they are linked or associated with someone who has a protected characteristic.

e.g. A carer for a disabled person is passed over for advancement because they are perceived as having responsibilities which will not allow them to concentrate fully on their role. 

Indirect discrimination (s.19) occurs if a rule or practice which applies to everyone across the board has the effect of disadvantaging people possessing a particular protected characteristic and the rule or practice cannot be justified as being a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

e.g. A rule is made that a particular training session will be held between 6 and 8pm.  Although the rule is applied across the judiciary, it places those with caring responsibilities at a particular disadvantage because they need to be at home before 8pm. The training organisers would be required to demonstrate that the indirectly discriminatory timing of this particular session was a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate aim of judicial training on this topic.

Special provisions now govern the different forms of disability discrimination.  The Equality Act 2010 recognises that more than formal equality is required to enable disabled people to participate as fully as possible in society. In addition to protection from direct and indirect discrimination, reasonable adjustments may be required to assist a disabled person who, because of his or her disability, is placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to others without that disability (s.20).  These may be, for example, by adaptations or modifications to premises, physical features or different arrangements, such as sitting times. Making such adjustments may involve the judicial office-holder

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 2

and/or HMCTS; and, depending upon the circumstances, this will often require the office-holder and the administration to liaise.

Unlawful discrimination may also occur if a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of his or her disability, which cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (s.15).

e.g. A judge is diagnosed as having a visual impairment  and requires adapted IT equipment, but is told that funding is not available for a ?non-standard? kit.  The Ministry of Justice may be required to make the necessary adaptations to the equipment for the judge.

Pregnancy and maternity-related discrimination occur if a woman is unfavourably treated because of a current or previous pregnancy, or because she has given birth (ss.17 & 18).

e.g. A judge is told she will not be authorised to sit in a particular jurisdiction because she is pregnant and will be unable to sit while on maternity leave.

Finally, harassment and victimisation are specific forms of prohibited conduct defined in the Act. Harassment is unwanted conduct related to the protected characteristic of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, which has the purpose or effect of violating the other person?s dignity or creating an unpleasant environment (s.26).

e.g. A member of court staff is repeatedly praised for her sweet nature and when she complains about being patronised, it does not cease.  This is likely to be unlawful harassment.

Victimisation occurs when one person subjects another person to a detriment because that other person has brought proceedings under the Equality Act 2010, has given evidence or information in connection with any such proceedings, has made an allegation that someone has contravened the Act, or has done any other thing for the purposes of or in connection with the Act (s.27).

e.g. A magistrate supports a fellow magistrate who makes a complaint of discrimination against another magistrate.  When she makes enquiries about applying to sit in the Youth Court she is told that her application will probably fail.  If this is because of her involvement in the previous case it is likely to constitute unlawful victimisation. 

For further, more detailed information, please see:

Equality Act Codes of Practice - http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/ equality-act/equality-act-codes-of-practice/

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 3

Appendix 3: Letter to all judiciary

Reference paragraph 8.10

January 2008

To all Judiciary in England and Wales:

Guidance for Judicial Office-holders on Reporting Minor Offences

I am writing to bring to your attention the new guidance governing the requirements to report minor offences1. 

There is currently a disparity between magistrates and other judicial office-holders in the requirement to report minor motoring offences, such as fixed penalty notices for speeding. In short, whilst magistrates are required to report all offences, other members of the judiciary, including Judges of the High Court, Circuit Judges and District Judges are not required to report minor motoring offences, except where there are aggravating circumstances.

Following discussions at the Arden working group, when it considered the new disciplinary system, it was agreed with Lord Falconer that the position of magistrates and other judicial office-holders be brought into line. The Judges Council subsequently proposed that the requirements for magistrates be relaxed to bring them into line with other judicial office-holders, a proposal that Jack Straw has now agreed to. The new reporting requirements also deal for the first time with disposals such as ASBOs, which are not included in existing arrangements. Whilst it is of course extremely unlikely that some of these requirements will ever arise, the guidance is intended to be exhaustive.

The reporting requirements are now as follows:

? Road Traffic offences need only be reported if on conviction:

◊ any period of disqualification from holding or obtaining a driving licence is imposed, or,

◊ six penalty points are ordered to be endorsed on the licence, or,

1 Office-holders should note that the exemptions set out in this letter do not apply where there are court proceedings relating to the charge.

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 3

◊ if a lesser number of points are ordered to be endorsed, the total points then endorsed on the licence exceeds six.

?  Speed awareness courses, penalty charge notices for parking etc and fixed penalty notices for  matters such as littering need not be reported.

?  Penalty notices for disorder must be reported, given the public order element, as must  cannabis warnings, given the involvement of drugs.

?  Anti Social Behaviour Orders must be reported, including those imposed in civil  proceedings.

?  All forms of formal recorded caution (i.e. those given by the police on an admission of guilt  of the offence being cautioned) must be reported.

?  Judicial office-holders should judge out of court disposals and any new penalty alongside this  framework in determining whether or not any other matter needs to be reported.

These guidelines are in line with the advice that the Association of District Judges and Council of Circuit Judges currently give in response to queries from their members.

Please base your decisions on whether to report minor offences on these new guidelines from now on.   

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

January 2008

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 4: Blogging by judicial  office-holders

Appendix 4

Introduction

This guidance is issued on behalf of the Senior Presiding Judge and the Senior President of Tribunals. It applies to all courts and tribunal judicial office-holders in England and Wales, and is effective immediately.

Definitions

A ?blog? (derived from the term ?web log?) is a personal journal published on the internet. ?Blogging? describes the maintaining of, or adding content to, a blog. Blogs tend to be interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments. They may also contain links to other blogs and websites. For the purpose of this guidance blogging includes publishing material on micro-blogging sites such as Twitter.

Guidance

Judicial office-holders should be acutely aware of the need to conduct themselves, both in and out of court, in such a way as to maintain public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.

Blogging by members of the judiciary is not prohibited. However, judicial office-holders who blog (or who post comments on other people?s blogs) must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary. They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general.

The above guidance also applies to blogs which purport to be anonymous. This is because it is impossible for somebody who blogs anonymously to guarantee that his or her identity cannot be discovered.

Judicial office-holders who maintain blogs must adhere to this guidance and should remove any existing content which conflicts with it forthwith. Failure to do so could ultimately result in disciplinary action. It is also recommended that all judicial office-holders familiarise themselves with the new IT and Information Security Guidance which will be available shortly.

Any queries about this guidance should be directed to Simon Parsons at Judicial Office - tel: 0207 073 4811. Email: [email protected]

Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013

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Appendix 5

Appendix 5

List of amendments (March 2013)

Foreword

? New final paragraph

Standing Committee on Guide to Judicial Conduct

? Revised list of members

Chapter 4: Integrity

? Addition of paragraphs 4.3-4.7 introducing the Equality and Diversity policy

Chapter 8: Activities outside the court

? Paragraph 8.10 & 8.11 replaced with new paragraph 8.10 covering office-holders? duty to notify legal proceedings and other matters relating to conduct.

? Paragraph 8.11 (previously 8.12) amended with guidance on blogging

Appendix 1

? Dignity at Work Statement

Appendix 2

? A brief guide to the Equality Act 2010

Appendix 3

? New footnote

Appendix 4

? Blogging by Judicial Office-holders

Appendix 5



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