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National American Indian Court Judges Association
Judicial Conduct and Code of Ethics

The Tribal Court Judge is the number one representative of the court. The court's integrity and fairness defines a communities' faith and health in utilizing a tribal court.

Tribal court judges should not practice law in their own courts, or, in any court subject to the appellate process in which he or she serves.

A judge should encourage a separation between the judicial branch and other branches of tribal government.

A judge should not participate in legislative or executive decision making except where it is permitted by the tribe.

Special care needs to be taken when a judge sits on a tribal council. The appearance or possibility of conflict of interest needs to be avoided.

A judge should not participate in cases involving immediate family members, in cases involving someone with whom the judge has a strong personal relationship, or in cases where the judge has a significant, direct, financial, political, or other personal interest.

A judge should discuss cases and court business only in the presence of all parties.

A judge has a responsibility to uphold confidentiality and should never discuss a case with outside parties or use confidential information acquired in the course of their official duties to further their personal interests.

A judge should be aware that their conduct has a direct bearing on public attitude toward their court and as such, should conduct themselves appropriately.

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Copyright ©2002-2008  National American Indian Court Judges Association
1601 Randolph Rd. S.E. Ste. 120-N, Albuquerque, NM 87106 * Phone: 505-224-9644 Fax: 505-224-9647
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