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Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme Court of ArizonaEffective: September 1, 2019

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
VII. Judicial Ethics (Refs & Annos)
Rule 81. Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct (Refs & Annos)
Effective: September 1, 2019
A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 81, Code of Jud.Conduct, Scope
This code consists of four canons, numbered rules under each canon, and comments that generally follow and explain each rule. Scope and terminology sections provide additional guidance in interpreting and applying the code. An application section establishes when the various rules apply to a judge or judicial candidate.
The canons state overarching principles of judicial ethics that all judges must observe. Although a judge may be disciplined only for violating a rule, the canons provide important guidance in interpreting the rules. Where a rule contains a permissive term, such as “may” or “should,” the conduct being addressed is committed to the personal and professional discretion of the judge or candidate in question, and no disciplinary action should be taken for action or inaction within the bounds of such discretion.
The comments that accompany the rules serve two functions. First, they provide guidance regarding the purpose, meaning, and proper application of the rules. They contain explanatory material and, in some instances, provide examples of permitted or prohibited conduct. Second, the comments identify aspirational goals for judges. To implement fully the principles of this code as articulated in the canons, judges should strive to exceed the standards of conduct established by the rules, holding themselves to the highest ethical standards and seeking to achieve those aspirational goals, thereby enhancing the dignity of the judicial office.
The rules in the code are rules of reason that should be applied consistent with constitutional requirements, statutes, other court rules, and decisional law, and with due regard for all relevant circumstances. The rules should not be interpreted to impinge upon the essential independence of judges in making judicial decisions.
The black letter of the rules is binding and enforceable. It is not intended, however, that every transgression will result in the imposition of discipline. Whether discipline should be imposed should be determined through a reasonable and reasoned application of the rules and should depend upon factors such as the seriousness of the transgression, the facts and circumstances that existed at the time of the transgression, the extent of any pattern of improper activity, whether there have been previous violations, and the effect of the improper activity upon the judicial system or others.
The code is not designed or intended as a basis for civil or criminal liability. Neither is it intended to be the basis for litigants to seek collateral remedies against each other or to obtain tactical advantages in proceedings before a court.
17A Pt. 2 A. R. S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 81, Code of Jud. Conduct, Scope, AZ ST S CT RULE 81 CJC Scope
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through May 15, 2024. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through May 15, 2024.
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