Regulating Judges
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Regulating Judges

Beyond Independence and Accountability

Edited by Richard Devlin and Adam Dodek

Regulating Judges presents a novel approach to judicial studies. It goes beyond the traditional clash of judicial independence versus judicial accountability. Drawing on regulatory theory, Richard Devlin and Adam Dodek argue that judicial regulation is multi-faceted and requires us to consider the complex interplay of values, institutional norms, procedures, resources and outcomes. Inspired by this conceptual framework, the book invites scholars from 19 jurisdictions to describe and critique the regulatory regimes for a variety of countries from around the world.
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Chapter 14: A judicial code of ethics: regulating judges and restoring public confidence in Malaysia

Jaclyn L Neo and Helena Whalen-Bridge

Abstract

Judicial codes can serve multiple objectives. This chapter examines the use and disuse of judicial codes of conduct by investigating the case of Malaysia. Malaysia first prescribed a Judges’ Code of Ethics in 1994, and then replaced it in 2009 with a more extensive code which established a procedure for complaints and investigation beyond the previous procedure. On the face of it, these codes may be conceptualized as rules for self-regulation, ensuring that judges comprehend their duties and act ethically. Furthermore, they appear to also serve the aim of asserting the judiciary’s independence against the other branches of government. However, because the codes were passed by Parliament in the wake of executive incursions and charges of corruption, there is concern that they are in fact a way for the executive, through the legislature, to control judicial conduct, with a deleterious effect on judicial independence.

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