Treat colleagues with 'courtesy and respect', judges told

Judicial office holders should treat everyone ‘fairly and respectfully’, according to guidance published by the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary yesterday. This applies both inside and outside the hearing room, the newstatement of expected behaviour’ states. 

The guidance follows research commissioned by the lord chief justice which found examples of ’bullying, harassment or discrimination’.

The new statement builds on, and does not replace, the existing Guide to Judicial Conduct, the judiciary said. It emphasises that the same standards of behaviour are expected between judicial office holders as they are towards staff and users.  

‘We are one judiciary; no-one should feel that they are perceived as “less than” because of their differences, personal or professional background, judicial office or jurisdiction,’ the statement continues. It tells judges to: 

  • treat others fairly and respectfully;
  • be mindful of the authority we have and be careful not to abuse it;
  • be aware of how our words and behaviour can affect others;
  • remain patient and tolerant when encountering difficult situations;
  • act professionally and courteously, including under pressure, and avoid shouting or snapping;
  • aim to ensure that no one in a hearing room is exposed to any display of bias or prejudice;
  • build effective working relationships with and support judicial colleagues and staff;
  • welcome and support new colleagues; and
  • be open to feedback if we have done something that may have caused discomfort or offence.   

‘Upholding the contents of this statement will help us to foster and experience an inclusive and safe working environment, feel valued and be more confident to challenge unacceptable behaviour,’ the judiciary said.


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