Event of Ethics and Professional conduct in the judiciary, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

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Questions and answers from the Regional training of Plovdiv Appellate Prosecutor’s office

 

On 28-29.10.2022, a regional training for magistrates was held in Plovdiv on the work topic “Rule of law. Professional ethics”. Prosecutors, assistant prosecutors and other officials from District and Appellative Prosecutor’s office in Plovdiv were present.

Among the training topics were the selection, independence and impartiality of prosecutors. The rules and procedures for the selection of magistrates were discussed. Contemporary challenges in terms of judicial ethics were considered.

Ethics is a key topic and should be widely covered at the very begging of magistrates career.

Ethical conduct should be considered not only as a formal prerequisite for appointment, rather than as a guarantee for fostering critical thinking and independence in young professionals even before entering the office.

Codes for ethical conduct, predicated upon Bangalore principles, were found, on one hand, morally outdated and on the other lagging behind the pace of development of social relations and technologies. Having that in mind, instead of helping the magistrates, codes of conduct confuses them and rather discourages them from getting more involved in solving contemporary issues.

Whistleblowing policies within the judiciary was another hot topic, considered during the event. Delegates rallied around the idea that robust, balanced, transparent, effective and prompt whistleblowing mechanisms and protection within the judiciaries is increasingly acknowledged. Having such instruments at hand would be beneficial for the judiciary both internally and externally.

Events, discussions and trainings like the one held in Plovdiv place a further emphasis on the critical importance of the issues at hand. It has become evident that addressing those questions is an attainable goal only through our joint effort as a community.

Difficult and sensitive topics. All of which announcing themselves as in need of improvement and adoption to the new standards and social norms.  Considering those issues in a new context might seem as an ambitious goal.

Nevertheless, the stakes are high and attention is needed. Would building a community predicated upon value and dedicated to discussing ethical dilemmas contribute to solving these issues? Тhe only possible answer to rhetorical questions like this is the affirmative.