1.Common well-known issues related to magistrates’ e-presence:

  • While magistrates are not prohibited from using social media for entertainment  they should exercise restraint and caution  in doing so.
  • The information available at a magistrate’s profile, e.g. places of interest, friends circle, etc., considered as a probable reason for a disqualification from a proceeding.
  • The power of Social media and the paramount importance of checking the relevant facts with the official authorities.
  • Campaigning through social media as a new means of gathering votes, needed for taking a position.
  • Would online dating be considered inappropriate for magistrates?
  • Magistrates shall obey to the highly demanding concept of EPC and the rule of law.

 

 

2. Our proposal for new ethical rule

Magistrates shall not be deprived ab initio from the abundant opportunities herein to use the social media platforms which enables them to express themselves, to communicate ideas, convey messages or simply keep in touch. Magistrates shall obey to the highly demanding concept of EPC and the rule of law by excluding any probable threat for their impartiality and independence, i.e. protecting the public image of the judiciary.

 

 

 

3.Bibliography  

  1. Use of social media by judges. Deontological rules or instructions/relevant case-law, European Commission for democracy through law, 2019, Download the file;
  2. Resolution on Judicial Ethics, ECtHR, 2021, ENG, BGN;
  3. Non-binding guidelines on the use of social media by judges, UNODC, 2018, Download the file;
  4. Practical guidelines on use of social media by judges: Central and Eastern European context, Ceeli Institute Report, November 2019, Download the file in BG, ENG;
  5. Before the judicial investigation commission of West Virginia, In the matter of the honorable Sally G. Jackson, judge of 24th Family Court Circuit, Complaint № 07-2021; Cox CL, Uddin LQ, Di Martino A, Castellanos FX, Milham MP, Kelly C., Download the file;
  6. Kozan v. Romania, no. 16695/19, ECHR, 5 September 2022, Download the judgment in French, Download the Information Note of ECtHR in English;
  7. Justice, Society, Madia: Report 2011 – 2012 BG, ENG;
  8. Public Confidence and the Image of Justice: Report 2017 – 2018, Download;
  9. Public Confidence and the Image of Justice Individual and Institutional use of Social Media within the Judiciary: Report 2018 – 2019, BG, ENG;
  10. Public Confidence and the Image of Justice: Communication with other Branches of Power: Report 2019 – 2020, Download;
  11. Opinion № 8 (2013) on the Relations between prosecutors and the media, 2013 BG, ENG
  12. Opinion № 25 (2022) f the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) on the freedom or expression, 2022 ENG, BGN;
  13. Impartiality of Judges and Social Media. Approaches, Regulations and Results, Rule of Law Programme Middle East/North Africa, Konrad-­‐Adenauer-­‐Stiftung e. V., ISBN: 978­‐3-­95721‐673‐1;
  14. The Media and the Judiciary, National Institute of Justice, Bulжaria, 2019 BG, ENG;
  15. Implications of the principles of judicial ethics in the use of social networks by members of the judiciary, Report (Consultation 10/2018), of 25 February 2019, Judicial Ethics Committee of Spain, ENG;
  16. Virginia Kendall, Judicial Training in a Social Media World, Best practices for educating the Judiciary on the Ethical use of Social media;

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