Ethical Principles for Judges

Ethical Principles for Judges is a publication which provides a framework about the ethical obligations of all judges. Canadian judges have the duty to uphold and defend judicial independence, not as a privilege of judicial office but as the constitutionally guaranteed right of everyone to have their disputes heard and decided in a fair way by impartial and independent judges.

Ethical Principles

Ethical Principles for Judges provides ethical guidance on challenging areas such as judicial mediation, participation in community activities, case management, self-represented litigants, professional development. The use of the internet, particularly social media, is also an issue that raises new, important questions which are addressed in this publication.

The principles are advisory in nature and are designed to describe exemplary behaviour which all judges strive to maintain and assist judges with the difficult ethical and professional issues that confront them.

Our judges are guided by the following principles:

  • independence,
  • integrity,
  • respect,
  • diligence,
  • competence,
  • equality,
  • impartiality.

In 2016, the revision of Ethical Principles was commenced by the Judicial Independence and Appointment Process Committee of the Council, with input from Chief Justices and puisne judges from across Canada. For more information on the steps taken by the Committee to produce this updated publication, visit the links below: