Empathy – a true or a false friend?

1. Points of empathy 

  • Definition and distinguishment between ‘affective empathy’ and ‘cognitive empathy’.
  • Managing the dark side to sinking into and feeling the emotions of others by establishing and properly applying distinctive ‘self-safe-filter’.
  • Acknowledging and valuing kid’s feelings and treating disabled people equally should be apparent during hearings.
  • Empathy as an ethical value related to Ethical and Professional Conduct, rather than a regulation to be complied with.
  • Does letting magistrates’ feelings visible for the rest of the world make them look fragile or gives them an image of possessing nobility of spirit?


2. Our proposal for new ethical rule 

Magistrates shall improve their skills to identify, recognize and respect emotions, thoughts and feelings important to the process of delivering justice and shall protect the balance between individual interests and public expectations of the judiciary.


3. Bibliography 

  1. The balance between feeling and knowing: affective and cognitive empathy are reflected in the brain’s intrinsic functional dynamics, Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 2012 Aug;7(6):727-37. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsr051. Epub 2011 Sep 5. PMID: 21896497; PMCID: PMC3427869, See the web site;
  2. Jason Marsh, The Unselfish Gene?, 2009, See the web site;
  3. Jason Marsh, Do Mirror Neurons Give Us Empathy?, 2012, See the web site;
  4. Jill Suttie, Do We Need More Empathic Judges?, 2016, See the web site;
  5. Cormack, Warren (2021) “Reassessing the Judicial Empathy Debate: How Empathy Can Distort and Improve Criminal Sentencing,” Mitchell Hamline Law Review: Vol. 47, Iss. 4 , Article 3. Available at: https://open.mitchellhamline.edu/mhlr/vol47/iss4/3, Download the file;
  6. Grignoli N, Petrocchi S, Bernardi S, Massari I, Traber R, Malacrida R and Gabutti L (2021) Influence of Empathy Disposition and Risk Perception on the Psychological Impact of Lockdown During the Coronavirus Disease Pandemic Outbreak. Front. Public Health 8:567337. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.567337, Download the file;
  7. Amanda Morin, What is self-awareness?, See the web site;
  8. Kate Kelly, Why Kids Who Learn and Think Differently Need to Stay Motivated, See the web site;
  9. Naomi Jamieson, The Queen’s teary moment at Prince Philip’s memorial left fans heartbroken, 2022, See the web site;
  10. Stina Bergman Blix, Åsa Wettergren, Professional Emotions in Court. A Sociological Perspective, Routledge, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-138-23450-5 (hbk), ISBN: 978-1-315-30675-9 (ebk), Download the file;

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