While the pace of developments in technology continues to accelerate to the great pleasure of many, it does present challenges to certain categories of professional disciplines whose nature does not lend itself well to much flexibility; with the preservation of judicial integrity at the helm of their principles, many judges may have difficulty embracing rapid innovation.
Judges must comply with legal and ethical ramifications which other professions may not face when using technology. This is particularly the case when considering social media platforms, which have become ubiquitous in the last few years; inserting themselves into people's mundane activities, they allow instant communication with family, friends and total strangers, the sharing of holiday photos and funny memes, and the ability of commenting on news stories.
U.S. Judge Virginia Kendall is interviewed by Roberta Solis from the Global Judicial Integrity Network on how to incorporate judges' use of social media into judicial training courses. Topics include how to structure training courses and apply existing codes of conduct to social media issues, as well as the potential concerns with judges' use of social media.
The effectiveness of any judiciary depends upon its perceived legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the public. This perception requires not only that the judges uphold the highest standards of integrity and independence, but also that states respect judicial independence and do not undermine judicial decisions.
A successful judiciary is one whose members are appointed following a rigorous process assessing both the candidate's legal qualifications as well as integrity. Different countries' constitutions and other laws provide for different requirements, but it is crucial that only the best people are appointed to judicial positions. Judiciaries should not be politicized - this means that ruling parties should not appoint judges who will be answerable to them and not to the constitution and members of the public.