Judicial Ethics

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Judicial Ethics, Legal Ethics, Professional Regulation, Law Profession


Judges are lawyers, but they are not members of law societies. Furthermore, the roles and responsibilities of judges are distinct from those of lawyers. Consequently, judges inhabit a discrete and distinctive ethical domain from that of lawyers. In Chapter 1, it was suggested that three core principles structure the lawyer's world: loyal advocacy, lawyers as moral agents in the pursuit of justice and integrity. For judges, the Canadian judicial Council stipulates that there are five core principles: (1) judicial independence; (2) integrity and respect; (3) diligence and competence; (4) equality; and (5) impartiality. In what follows we will provide only an introduction to this broad and dynamic domain of ethics.