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Limits of LegalityThe Ethics of Lawless Judging$
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Jeffrey Brand-Ballard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342291.001.0001

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The Legal Duties of Judges

The Legal Duties of Judges

(p.56) 4 The Legal Duties of Judges
Limits of Legality

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether judges have a legal duty to apply the law correctly—to obey certain adherence rules. Various sources of legal authority on the question are examined, including codes of judicial conduct and case law. It is determined that sanctions are almost never imposed on judges for deviating from the law, unless there is a pattern of error or evidence of improper motive. Judges have not been impeached or removed from office for deviating from the law in the United States. Nevertheless, the chapter concludes that judges may well have a legal duty to adhere to the law, and the rest of the book is consistent with that assumption. Other judicial incentives to adhere are also discussed.

Keywords:   adjudication rules, judicial misconduct, legal error, bad faith, egregious errors, Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Code of Conduct for United States Judges

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