A Guidebook to Working Practices of the Supreme Courts
Edited by Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union
Chapter 3: Relations with outside partners
1. Relations between judges and outside partners – the outside world – in other words either their personal and social interaction with legal colleagues or their conduct, actions or reactions in the face of intense criticism from outside, in particular from the media, may be considered, analysed and studied in the context of a delicate balance between responsibilities, the duty of independence and the circumstances potentially jeopardizing that independence. Judges’ relations with the outside world, their actions or the degree of the probable risk that their independence will be impaired and the potential effects on impartiality, particularly when viewed objectively, may have different causes and create specific problems which must be analysed and contextualized from various angles. The types of relations with the outside world mentioned in the questionnaire and chosen to cover situations with apparently similar problems yet at the same time calling for different analytical approaches reveal a broad plurality, such as to present an adequate relational framework for identifying the problems and preventing possible risks to objective impartiality and judicial independence. External interactions with other legal colleagues, inter-institutional conditioning, integration into international networks and relations with international judicial bodies, exclusivity or exceptions to exclusivity in the performance of duties, the performance of public duties by judges, their relations with political power and organic and budgetary dependence on the executive, as well as relations with and reactions to the degree and intensity of criticism from the media – such are the questions requiring elucidation.
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