Settlement Conferences and Judicial Role: The Scaffolding for Expanded Thinking about Judicial Ethics
91 Canadian Bar Review
31 Pages Posted: 23 May 2018
Date Written: 2012
Canadian judges are participating more often in settlement processes, which vary in form across the country. As traditional judicial roles expand and give way to new ones, so must frameworks for ethical decision-making. Ethical reasoning in this new setting must integrate values which are both individual (internal) and contextual. In developing this argument, the authors explore (1) how mature and adaptive ethical reasoning skills are acquired as a matter of human psychology; (2) foundational ideas about judicial role found in existing Canadian ethical guidelines; (3) potentially transferable values from codes of conduct in the private dispute resolution field; (4) developing ideologies and styles of judicial mediation. The article concludes that judicial mediators can (and ought to) anchor their own internal compasses to broader principles and understandings about role, that these broader principles can be developed using the above sources of guidance, and that judicial action is needed to advance this task.
Keywords: frameworks for ethical decision-making, individual and contextual values, mature and adaptive ethical reasoning skills, private dispute resolution, judicial mediation
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