Home Table of Contents

Canon 1. A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the ...

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme CourtEffective: March 1, 2020

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court
IV Judicial Conduct Commission (Refs & Annos)
SCR 4.300. Kentucky Code of Judicial Conduct
Effective: March 1, 2020
Rules of the Supreme Court (SCR), Canon 1
Canon 1. A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety
Rule 1.1. Compliance with the Law
A judge shall comply with the law,* including the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Rule 1.2. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary
A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence,* integrity,* and impartiality* of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety* and the appearance of impropriety.
[1] Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety. This principle applies to both the professional and personal conduct of a judge.
[2] A judge should expect to be the subject of public scrutiny that might be viewed as burdensome if applied to other citizens, and must accept the restrictions imposed by the Code.
[3] Conduct that compromises or appears to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of a judge undermines public confidence in the judiciary. Because the listing of all such conduct is not practicable, the Rule is necessarily cast in general terms.
[4] Judges should participate in activities that promote ethical conduct among judges and lawyers, support professionalism within the judiciary and the legal profession, and promote access to justice for all.
[5] Actual improprieties include violations of law,* court rules, or provisions of this Code. The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on the judge's honesty, impartiality, temperament, or fitness to serve as a judge.
[6] A judge should initiate and participate in community outreach activities for the purpose of promoting public understanding of and confidence in the administration of justice. In conducting such activities, the judge must act in a manner consistent with this Code.
Rule 1.3. Avoiding Abuse of the Prestige of Judicial Office
A judge shall not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests* of the judge or others, or allow others to do so.
[1] It is improper for a judge to use or attempt to use his or her position to gain personal advantage or deferential treatment of any kind. For example, it would be improper for a judge to allude to his or her judicial status to gain favorable treatment in encounters with traffic officials. Similarly, a judge must not use judicial letterhead to gain an advantage in conducting his or her personal business.
[2] A judge may provide a reference or recommendation for an individual based upon the judge's personal knowledge.* The judge may use official letterhead if the judge indicates that the reference is personal and if no likelihood exists that the use of the letterhead would reasonably be perceived as an attempt to exert pressure by reason of the judicial office.
[3] Judges may participate in the process of judicial selection by cooperating with appointing authorities and nominating commissions, and by responding to inquiries from such entities concerning the professional qualifications of a person being considered for judicial office.
[4] In contracts for publication of a judge's writing, the judge should retain sufficient control over the advertising to avoid exploitation of the judge's office in violation of this rule. A biography or description of the individual that includes office(s) currently or previously held is a communication of professional qualifications and is permitted by this rule.


Amended by Order 2018-17, eff. 10-29-18. Prior amendments eff. 3-22-18 (Order 2018-04); 2-18-13 (Order 2013-04), 12-15-10 (Order 2010-11); 2-16-06 (Order 2006-03); 9-15-05 (Order 2005-9), 1-1-05 (Order 2004-5), 2-1-00 (Order 99-1), 1-1-99 (Order 98-2), 11-1-95 (Order 95-1), 4-4-91, 1-1-87, 10-1-82, 7-1-81, 1-1-80, 7-1-79, 1-29-79, 6-1-78, 3-1-78, 2-22-78, 1-1-78; adopted eff. 1-1-78
Note: Former Rules of Appellate Procedure (RAP) were amended and redesignated as Rules of the Supreme Court (SCR) by Order of the Supreme Court effective January 1, 1978. Prior Rules of the Court of Appeals (RCA) had been redesignated as Rules of Appellate Procedure effective March 12, 1976.
Sup. Ct. Rules, Canon 1, KY ST S CT Canon 1
Current with amendments received through March 1, 2024. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
End of Document