To enhance the independence of the judiciary, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has barred judges and other court staff from accepting gifts from other arms of government.

To enhance the independence of the judiciary, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has barred judges and other court staff from accepting gifts from other arms of government.

To enhance the independence of the judiciary, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has barred judges and other court staff from accepting gifts from other arms of government.

This measure seeks to merge and improve on the existing NJC NJP and a similar policy by the National Judicial Institute, NJI.

The existing Code of Conduct for judicial officers provides that “a judge and members of his/her family shall neither ask for nor accept any gift, bequest, favour, or loan on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.

“But, the provision in the new policy particularly bars judges and other court staff from accepting gifts from other arms of government, and made compliance mandatory.”

Section 2(3)(2) of the new policy states: “The Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers and Code of Conduct for Court Employees, with the amendment discouraging acceptance of gifts from other arms of government, should be such as would be adequate. Compliance with their provisions shall be mandatory.”

Further on its relationship with other arms of government, it is prescribed that “the judiciary shall not resort to lobbying in ensuring that the legislature and the executive perform their constitutional responsibilities.

“All arms of government should respect the doctrine of Separation of Powers as enshrined in the Constitution.” It states further: “It shall be the policy of the judiciary on complaints of misconduct against judicial officers or employees of the judiciary shall not be leaked or published in the media.

“Where complaints on allegations against judicial officers and court employees are submitted for investigation, the complainant or complainants shall be made to give an undertaking not to do anything to prejudice investigation or actions that may be taken. The institutions of the judiciary concerned with investigation or/and implementation of decisions taken on such complaints shall be obliged to cease further action where such complaints are leaked or discussed in the media.

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