August 13, 2018

Model Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement


The regulation of judicial conduct is critical to preserving the integrity of the judiciary and enhancing public confidence in the judicial system. To carry out the regulatory task, a jurisdiction should have an adequately-funded judicial discipline and incapacity system.

These Model Rules are intended to be a resource to jurisdictions in reviewing the procedures of their existing judicial discipline systems and in drafting fair and efficient procedures for enforcement of the ethical codes if they choose to revise their present systems. These Model Rules reflect a careful balance of a number of competing interests: the rights of judges to fair treatment in the disposition of complaints against them; the judges' interest in the confidentiality of complaints for which the commission finds there is not reasonable cause to believe that misconduct occurred; the public's concern that complaints against judges are given serious consideration and that judges are held to high standards of behavior; and the interest of the judges and the public in having judicial disciplinary complaints resolved promptly and accurately.

This model is presented with the understanding that each jurisdiction should determine for itself whether to accept or modify the individual Rules. In the following Model Rules, text in [brackets] is discretionary or an alternative provision. Text in {braces} requires the specific title of an entity, agency officer, code or rules.

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