Principles of Judicial Ethics

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Judges hold an important position in society.  They are entrusted with exercising considerable power, which can have a dramatic effect on the lives of those who appear in court.  They must uphold the highest standards of conduct - both in and out of court.

 The Scottish judiciary has an honourable tradition in the attainment of high standards of judicial conduct. Maintaining such standards is essential if the community is to have confidence in its judiciary. The adoption of a widely accepted framework of judicial ethics helps to ensure that both judges and the public are aware of the principles by which judges are guided in their personal and professional life.  The Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics for the Scottish Judiciary was first published in April 2010, revised in 2013, 2015 and 2016 to clarify the ethics that guide judges in their professional and personal lives.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is responsible for providing the staff, buildings and technology to support Scotland’s courts, the work of the independent judiciary, the courts’ Rules Councils and the Office of the Public Guardian. The Board of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is chaired by the Lord President. Visit the SCTS website for details of daily court business including court locations, contact numbers, rules, guidance and advice for both professional users and members of the public.

Find out more about attending court

A day in the life of


Judges spend a great deal of time working on cases before and after court and have to do a lot of preparation for the day ahead. Read about a typical day for a judge.