Supreme Judicial Court Rules
Code of Judicial Conduct

Supreme Judicial Court Rules  Code of Judicial Conduct: Preamble

Effective Date: 01/01/2016
Updates: Adopted October 8, 2015, effective January 1, 2016

Table of Contents


[1] An independent, fair, and impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice. The United States legal system is based upon the principle that an independent, impartial, and competent judiciary, composed of persons of integrity, will interpret and apply the law that governs our society. Thus, the judiciary plays a central role in preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law. Inherent in all the Rules in this Code are the precepts that judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and must strive to maintain and enhance confidence in the legal system.

[2] Judges should maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence. 

[3] The Code of Judicial Conduct establishes standards for the ethical conduct of judges. It is not intended as an exhaustive guide for the conduct of judges, who are governed in their judicial and personal conduct by general ethical standards as well as by the Code. The Code is intended, however, to provide guidance and to assist judges to maintain the highest standards of judicial and personal conduct, and to provide a basis for regulation of their conduct through disciplinary authorities.

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