JUDICIAL CODE OF CONDUCT
The Honourable Mr Justice Fatiaki
Chief Justice of Fiji
Since 1972 almost every major judiciary has adopted a code of conduct or ethical principles for the guidance of its judges and magistrates.
Notable examples of these include the statement of Ethical Principles for Judges adopted in Canada in 1998, the European Charter on the Statute for Judges in the same year, the Restatement of Values of Judicial Life adopted by the Chief Justices Conference of India in 1999, the Guidelines for Judges of South Africa issued in March 2000 and the Guide to Judicial Conduct published by the Council of Chief Justices of Australia in June 2002.
In November 2002 a Round Table Conference of 17 Chief Justices held in the Peace Palace at The Hague, adopted the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct which are now widely accepted as defining the international standards for ethical conduct by members of the judiciary.
In 2002 Fijiís judiciary decided that it too should adopt and publish a clear open and transparent statement of the ethical principles by which it holds itself to be bound, based on the Bangalore Principles.
The promulgation of these guidelines is also done as a gesture of goodwill and in recognition of the concerns that have been raised, from time to time, by members of the public about the declining standards of conduct and integrity of judicial officers.
These guidelines have had a lengthy gestation since they were first mooted in the year 2000.† There have been several drafts circulated and discussed and submissions were received from judges and magistrates.† I am confident that these guidelines reflect the collective wisdom and support of the entire judiciary.
I wish to record my appreciation to the Fiji Law & Justice Sector Program for its assistance in bringing this booklet to fruition.
It is my pleasure to formally publish these Guideline Principles for Judicial Officers in the Fiji Islands.