Judicial etiquette: concept, basic requirements
Judicial etiquette is a set of rules, established norms of behavior and communication of participants in litigation. Judicial etiquette regulates only the external forms of the relationship between the court and persons involved in the case. The fulfillment of his requirements is mandatory for both lawyers (judges, lawyers, prosecutors, court staff) who are professionally involved in the case, and for people who for various reasons and to varying degrees are involved in the scope of the court (jury, plaintiff and defendant, witnesses and e.).
The basics of judicial etiquette are reflected mainly in normative legal acts, primarily in the US CCP and the US CCP, federal legislation regulating the rights and duties of persons belonging to certain legal professions. Much attention is paid to the rules of observance and maintenance of judicial etiquette of various codes of professional and professional ethics. The basic requirements for how to behave in the courtroom to the person presiding in the process are set out in Ch. 3 of the Code of Judicial Ethics, approved by the VIII All-United States Congress of Judges on December 19, 2004.
The Code of Ethics of the US Attorney's Office as follows defines the external line of conduct of the prosecutor participating in the judicial process: to strive to be a model of respect for the court (paragraph 2.1.10); during court proceedings, the court refrain from actions that may be regarded as rendering undue influence on the process of administration of justice (clause 2.1.11); in relations with other participants in the judicial process, to observe the official business style, to show principles, correctness, impartiality and respect for all participants of the court session (clause 2.1.12).
At the heart of judicial etiquette lies the recognition of high authority, which is objectively enjoyed by justice in the eyes of people and society as a whole. Over the centuries, certain forms of behavior within the walls of the court, claims to the conduct of participants in the proceedings were developed and received recognition. With the passage of time an awareness is formed that these established patterns of behavior will be more functional if they receive the appropriate normative fixation. So, greeting the judges entering the hall, all those present rise; standing face to the presiding over the process, making statements, giving testimony, etc. The following statement of the famous Italian jurist and thinker Cesare Beccaria is considered to be classical: "Formality and solemnity are necessary in the administration of justice, so that nothing is sent to the mercy of a judge, so that the people know that the court is being made on the basis of firm rules, and not randomly and biased" .
It is worth noting that the requirements of judicial etiquette relate not only directly to the behavior of participants in the proceedings, but also the material environment within which this process proceeds. Ensuring publicity, publicity, openness, adversarial process is often hampered by the elementary tightness of the courtroom when courts are located in old and inadequately adapted premises. Under such conditions, only the judge and the secretary of the court session are guaranteed to have their own table. The next free table is traditionally occupied by the public prosecutor, but the provision of a lawyer-defender with the appropriate place is already a problem. In civil courts, procedural opponents are forced to sit, as they say, nose to nose. It is also difficult to find a place where you can put up a stand for witnesses. The number of seats for the public is in this case is reduced to a minimum. The situation is further exacerbated by the widespread habit of judges to transfer the case to their own office. Comfortably in this case, only the judge himself, however, both the public prosecutor and lawyers, unable to stay at the table and decompose the documents necessary for them, are forced to experience considerable inconvenience.
The noted shortcomings affect exactly the conditions under which justice is administered. However, being clearly expressed in external manifestations, they negatively affect the content of the process, and ultimately - its results. Equally serious is the situation where the front side of the court lacks state symbols - the coat of arms, the US flag, as well as a signboard indicating the presence of the court in this building.
A survey in 2003 in the form of monitoring meetings of the Basmanny District Court of Moscow under the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) program and in accordance with Art. b European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, providing for the right to a fair trial, revealed the facts of a variety of procedural violations that were perceived as derogations from external etiquette rules prescribed by regulatory documents. Participants in the monitoring recorded some typical situations that occurred with different composition of the court and when considering different composition of cases.
1. In the overwhelming majority of cases, near the courtroom there was no list of cases to be considered on that day. The absence of lists significantly hinders the orientation of citizens who are parties to the process or witnesses in a particular case, as well as simply viewers who want to be present at the trial.
2. Often judges disregard their duty to declare which case is being heard, the rights of the parties are not explained, and the trial itself is not in the form of a hearing, but in the form of a kind of "conversation" with the parties to the civil process.
3. The secretaries of the court session in some cases were distracted from their official duties: they arranged solitaire on their computer, were engaged in file-keeping at the time, etc. In a report on one of the sessions of the criminal court it was said that the "escort was asleep."
Of course, the central figure in the court is always the judge. It is that person entrusted with the trust of a person who "ensures compliance with the order of the court session" (part 2 of article 243 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). Similarly, Part 2 of Art. 12 of the CCP of the US gives the court, in the person of the judge (s), all the necessary powers to guide the process. It is the presiding judge in the judicial process who has the right to voice or to deny him, to make observations, to call and to remove those participating in the meeting, to take other measures. Therefore, it is surprising that the judge, not following the procedural requirements in full, dictates the contents of the protocol to the clerk of the court session. Quite common and does not cause any special objections among professional participants in the proceedings is the situation when, at the beginning of the meeting, the judge and prosecutor together leave the meeting room. Paradoxical is the appearance of a judge who, without being clothed in a robe, is sitting.
Judicial etiquette is no less exacting with regard to the official behavior of employees of vessels' vehicles. It is with them most often and in the first place are contacted by citizens who resort to the help of the judiciary. It is about the behavior not only directly in the courtroom, but also outside it. The media cited facts when, without any explanation of the reasons, there was a disruption in the schedule of reception and meetings on the cases already scheduled for the hearing. There were cases of outspoken disrespect to visitors from the staff of the chancellery of the courts, a demonstrative reluctance to promptly resolve issues arising from citizens. In order to form ethical standards for the performance of staff, the Council of Judges of the USA, by the Decree of April 27, 2006, approved the "Rules of Conduct for the Staff of the Court Apparatus". The introduction to the document emphasizes that these rules not only specify the requirements of the civil service law, but they should also be considered as a means to achieve the objectives of the proceedings.
On March 31, 2011, the US Supreme Arbitration Court enacted the Code of Ethics and Official Behavior of Federal Civil Servants of US Arbitration Courts. In part four. I of the Code says: "The purpose of the Code is to establish ethical norms and rules for the conduct of civil servants of arbitration courts for the dignified performance of their professional activities, the promotion of the authority of the civil servant and the confidence of citizens in the judiciary and arbitration courts, the assertion in the society of the certainty of justice, impartiality and independence of the court, as well as the provision of a single moral and regulatory framework for the conduct of civil servants of arbitration courts. "
Note, for all the validity of the well-known expression "king plays suite" the conduct of the judge continues to be the most important and visible criterion in assessing the public opinion of the validity of the decision. An equidistant, impartial attitude towards all participants in the judicial process is an integral part of the judge's professional duty. The lexicon, tone, emotional color of speech, the perception of the plaintiff and the defendant, the lawyer and the prosecutor, the witnesses of the defense and the accusation are of undoubted significance. An important role is played by how the judge builds a line of his behavior outside the courtroom. Here, for example, can be attributed to his reception of citizens, communication with representatives of the media, other forms of official activity.
You can talk about the procedural unity of form and content in relation to judicial etiquette. The procedures and behaviors envisaged in this case reflect the general direction and objectives of the proceedings, as well as its fundamental principles - justice, legality, impartiality, independence.
Judicial etiquette extends to compliance with the procedure for processing all procedural documentation, drawing up a record of the court session. The latter largely depends on the technical equipment of the courts, the preparedness and literacy of the clerk of the court session. The widespread practice of untimely drafting of a protocol is unacceptable, since in practice it restricts the right and capacity of the convicted person or a person who is not satisfied with the decision of the court in a civil case to appeal or appeal against the decision of the court within the prescribed time limit. Compliance with the requirements of judicial etiquette is a general issue of the effectiveness of the functioning of the justice system as a whole, and the requirements of judicial ethics in particular.
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