Dispensing justice is an essential function of a state of law. Members of the judiciary hold in their hands the freedom, honour, security and material interests of those living within the French Republic's territory.
This eminent role entails certain demands and requires appropriate human, financial and material resources.
The objective of the following principles, comments and recommendations is to establish ethical references for the French judiciary.
They are designed to support and guide them and provide the judicial institution with a framework for a better understanding of its ethics.
Their purpose is also to offer representatives of the executive and legislative powers, as well as persons involved in the administration of justice and the public, a better understanding of the complexity of how the judiciary fulfils its role. As members of the judicial authority, judiciary members draw their legitimacy from the law, which requires them to be independent and impartial, principles also imposed on the other powers.
Disregarding these imperatives would compromise public confidence.
By their integrity, members of the judiciary demonstrate that they are worthy of deciding how individuals may exercise their fundamental rights.
More than any others, they are bound to demonstrate probity and loyalty.
Through their constantly updated knowledge of applicable texts and principles and their determination never to fail to protect the individual freedoms they safeguard, members of the judiciary affirm the preeminence of the law.
Justice is dispensed in the name of the French people. Members of the judiciary are bound to be attentive to those they judge and those around them, without ever violating anyone's dignity, whilst preserving the image of the judicial institution and upholding their duty of reserve.
This Compendium does not constitute a disciplinary code but rather a guide for judges and prosecutors who, in France, are all members of the same judicial corps. Its publication is designed to reinforce public confidence in the independent and impartial functioning of the French judicial system.