Judicial conduct, guidance and emotion

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Expectations of judicial conduct are changing. Judicial officers must pay more attention to emotions, exercise different judicial emotional capacities and engage in more emotion work, including management of the judicial officer’s own emotions or those of others. Judicial conduct guides emphasise interactional qualities such as patience, courtesy, temperament or detachment, and so implicitly acknowledge the presence of emotion and anticipate emotion work on the part of the judicial officer. However, the place of emotion in judicial work is rarely directly addressed, nor is the language of emotion or feeling used. In contrast, judicial officers themselves express considerable awareness of emotion and describe intentional strategies to manage emotion. Available conduct guidance, in Australia and the United States of America (US), does not adequately address the actual emotional experiences faced by judicial officers in their everyday work. The Elements of Judicial Excellence, an innovative project from the National Center for State Courts (US), integrates research findings from judges themselves to generate concrete strategies for individual judicial officers and for wider cultural change within the courts and judiciary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-239
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Judicial Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Judicial conduct
  • emotion work
  • judging


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