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Court workers told: Be prudent on social media posts.

Court administrator Jose Midas Marquez on Friday reminded judges and employees of regional, metropolitan and municipal trial courts to be more circumspect in expressing their views on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

In a memorandum circular, dated Aug. 17, Marquez said all court personnel, 'like Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion' in conducting themselves in public as 'public confidence in the judiciary (may be) eroded by their irresponsible or improper conduct.'

He said the actions of court workers should not put into question the dignity of the judiciary.

Although sharing their views through various social media platforms was part of their freedom of expression, the Supreme Court official said the exercise of this freedom should have limitations as their actions would reflect the character of the entire judiciary.

'All told, judges and court personnel who participate in social media are enjoined to be cautious and circumspect in posting photographs, liking posts and making comments in public on social networking sites,' Marquez said.

'While judges and court personnel are not prohibited from engaging in social media, they are reminded that when they do, 'they do not thereby shed off their status as members of the judiciary,'' he added.

Citing an opinion issued by the California Judges Association, the court administrator said court personnel, being the 'visible personification of law and justice,' should observe stricter standard of conduct.

In addition, Marquez said Section 6, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct stated that judges and other court workers should behave 'in a manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.'

'The standard of conduct expected from members of the judiciary is much higher than an ordinary man ... They must exhibit the hallmark judicial temperament of utmost sobriety and self-restraint,' he stressed.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 19, 2017
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