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For immediate release: May 16, 2007
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Ad Hoc Committee to Advise Supreme Court on Code of Judicial Conduct

The New Jersey Supreme Court has created an Ad Hoc Committee on the Code of Judicial Conduct. Chaired by former Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz and comprising judges and attorneys from around the state, the committee will examine New Jersey's Code of Judicial Conduct and recommend changes to the standards of conduct required of the state's approximately 800 judges. Retired Superior Court Judge Miriam N. Span will serve as vice-chair of the committee.

The committee will review the Code of Judicial Conduct in light of the revised Model Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the American Bar Association at its mid-year meeting in February. In particular, the committee has been asked to make recommendations in respect of Court Rule 1:12 and Canons 3 and 5 of the Code, which set the standards for cases in which a judge should not participate to preserve the appearance of the court's neutrality. The Court has instructed the committee to consider Canon 2, which concerns the need for judges to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Overall, the committee will make recommendations to the Supreme Court on any changes to the Code or the Rule 1:12 that it deems are appropriate.

Under the New Jersey Constitution, the Supreme Court has sole authority over the conduct of the state's judges, including judges of the Municipal Court. In addition to the seven members of the Supreme Court, there are 12 judges of the Tax Court, 441 judges of the Superior Court, including judges of the Appellate Division, and approximately 350 Municipal Court judges in New Jersey.

A roster of committee members is attached.

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