Martin Hapla
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Masaryk University Brno

Functional or Dignified Judiciary? A Discussion Paper on the Limits of Judicial Accountability

Jurisprudence 1/2024 Section: Discussion Page: 25-30

Keywords: Judiciary, disciplinary liability, professional ethics, judicial dignity, confidence

Abstract: The text presents the thesis that the emphasis on the functionality of the judiciary is the only legitimate basis on which we can impose a disciplinary sanction or some special obligation on a judge that he or she would not have as an ordinary citizen. The requirement to preserve public confidence or judicial dignity should only be given an instrumental value, which is derived from the fact that it contributes to the good functioning of the judiciary. The two concepts just mentioned are in many respects vague and, without further clarification, open up too much room for possible arbitrariness and the exertion of harmful pressure on judges. The author therefore also considers the relationship between dignity and the observance of etiquette as its possible content. The text thus provides a comprehensive view of what the purpose of disciplinary and professional responsibility is and what its limits are. Ultimately, the ideas presented can be generalized and applied to other legal professions.

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