A number of blogs in the United Kingdom are reporting that guidelines regarding blogging by members of the judiciary in England and Wales have come down from the Judicial Office. See here for a blog article found on The Guardian‘s website that recaps the situation and provides an interesting commentary.
According to these guidelines, which have not been made available to the public, when blogging, magistrates and judges must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary and must avoid making comments that could damage the public’s confidence in the judiciary.
This last part is not particularly surprising. Judges and lawyers alike in Canada have the obligation, as per their respective codes of conduct, not to act in a way that would bring the administration of justice in disrepute. However, as mentioned in a number of blog postings, are these types of generally-worded guidelines and the requirement for anonymity helpful or at all necessary?