Bangalore Judicial Conduct Principles

The Supreme Court of India has asked the Registrar General of the Calcutta High Court to look into an alleged interview given by a judge to a television station in which he made disparaging statements about a politician. This is recognised as a violation of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct.

What are Bangalore Principles?

  • The Bangalore Code of Judicial Conduct was developed in 2001 for the Judicial Group on Strengthening Judicial Integrity and submitted in November 2002 to the Round Table Meeting of Chief Justices.
  • Resolution 23 of the United Nations Social and Economic Council encourages Member States’ judiciaries to apply the Bangalore Principles.
  • The principles are designed to define criteria for judges’ ethical behaviour.
  • They are intended to give judges with advice and to provide the judiciary with a framework for controlling judicial conduct.

Six core values recognized

S. No.PrincipleDescription
1.IndependenceJudges must be free to make impartial decisions based on the law and facts, without any influence or pressure from external sources.
2.ImpartialityJudges must be unbiased and treat all parties equally, without any favoritism or discrimination.
3.IntegrityJudges must have high moral and ethical principles, be honest, and act with transparency and fairness.
4.ProprietyJudges must avoid any impropriety or appearance of impropriety, such as conflicts of interest or inappropriate behavior.
5.EqualityJudges must uphold the principle of equality before the law, treating all people with respect and dignity.
6.Competence and diligenceJudges must have the necessary knowledge, skills, and qualities to perform their duties effectively, and must work diligently and efficiently.

The importance of these principles

  • The principles clarify their meaning and elaborate in detail on what kind of behaviour is expected of the individuals concerned in order to put the corresponding value into practise.
  • Each of the values contains a set of special instructions.
  • Not only have some states accepted the Bangalore Principles, but others have modelled their own Judicial Conduct Principles after them.
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