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Principles of Judicial Office

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Respect for the Judiciary is acquired through the pursuit of excellence in administering justice.

The Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice was empowered to establish “standards of conduct for provincial judges” by section 51.9 of the Courts of Justice Act. A document entitled, “Principles of Judicial Office for Judges,” was prepared by the Judicial Conduct Subcommittee of the Chief Judge’s Executive Committee in consultation with the Judges’ Association and the judges of the court. It was based on a document produced by the Canadian Judicial Council. The document was then submitted to the Ontario Judicial Council for its review and approval in the second year of Council’s operation, as required by subs. 51.9(1) of the Courts of Justice Act.

Principles of Judicial Office for Judges is a guide to assist judges in addressing ethical and professional dilemmas. The Principles may also serve in assisting the public to understand the reasonable expectations which the public may have of judges in the performance of judicial duties and in the conduct of judges’ personal lives.

There are parallel Principles of Judicial Office for Justices of the Peace. The justices of the peace of the Ontario Court of Justice recognize their duty to establish, maintain, encourage and uphold high standards of personal conduct and professionalism so as to preserve the independence and integrity of their judicial office and to preserve the faith and trust that society places in the men and women who have agreed to accept the responsibilities of judicial office.