<ul><li>Monitor the target’s social behavior: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities” stated in the Code of Judicial Conduct* </li></ul><ul><li>In simple terms, judges and justices should best keep away from public gatherings where they are bound to meet people, lawyers and litigants alike, who have pending cases in their courts. </li></ul><ul><li>Women judges are less prone to corruption because “they seldom go out on drinking bouts with lawyers or litigants. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Male judges are prone to corruption “after work they drink together”. They’re buddy-buddy with their prosecutors. This is not good because the prosecutor represents one side of a case, and the judge is supposed to be in the middle. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for conflict of interest: </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers would say his concern was real reason why then the chief justice did not immediately release the decision of the case. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Code of Judicial Conduct is explicit about which proceedings judges should not taken part in to avoid questions about their impartiality. These include cases where: </li></ul><ul><li>They have personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts; </li></ul><ul><li>They had served as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or lawyer or a former associate had served as counsel during their association or they were a material witness; </li></ul><ul><li>Their ruling in the subject court is the subject of review; </li></ul>
<ul><li>They are related by blood or marriage to a litigant within the six degree, or to counsel within the fourth degree; </li></ul><ul><li>They know that their spouses or children have financial interest , as heir, legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Take note of any deviation from proper procedures: </li></ul><ul><li>One way to do this is by checking the case documents submitted to that court. These would contain the names of the law firms and the lawyers handling the cases pending there. </li></ul><ul><li>TRO’s are probably the writs most frequently produced by the courts; they have also acquired a reputation for dripping with grease money. </li></ul><ul><li>Applicant for TRO need to prevent something he does not want to happen, he may be more than willing to part with substantial amounts just so it can be issued, and as quickly as possible to boot. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Court of Appeals in particular seems to have become a quasi-factory of TRO’s: “The losing party more often than not would say that the issuance of the TRO or injunction was tainted with grave abuse of discretion or in excess or lack of jurisdiction. TRO issued by the Court of Appeals also enjoy a longer effectivity period of 60 days. </li></ul><ul><li>The respondent judge are no longer speaking of ignorance of the law for that too simplistic-but of corruption which if left unchecked will further erode public confidence in the judiciary. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Scrutinize unusual patterns in decision making, and rulings that go against precedents, if not the law: </li></ul><ul><li>The rules or laws are being ignored or misinterpreted deliberately, and in all probability in exchange for something. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher courts keep on revising decisions deserves closer scrutiny. </li></ul><ul><li>A similar check could be done on state prosecutors who keep on filing defective informations or have their cases dismissed on technicalities a bit too frequently. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Lawyers also thought it curious that the high tribunal suddenly acquired a penchant for setting aside precedents, especially in decision that favored “well-connected litigants”. </li></ul><ul><li>Among other things, the justice, who headed the division, argued in his dissent that the decision had changed the existing notion of preliminary investigation. It is also contradicted a previous high court ruling that the filing of criminal complaint for tax evasion, even without a previous assessment of the correct tax, is proper. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Some legal look outs </li></ul><ul><li>Many lawyers, and judges, have thin skins, and they are obviously most sensitive when they think they are being accused of corruption. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-journalist who would dare test the patience of judges can expect less tolerance, and perhaps heavier sanctions. Members of the media tend to be let off relatively easy by the most irritable of justices, largely because journalist can place issue before the public and gain its sympathy. At the same time, they are able to count on the support of their colleagues else where in the country or even abroad. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Sub judice and contempt </li></ul><ul><li>Legal insiders themselves would probably warn researchers about the possible consequences of bringing the results of their investigation into the public arena. If one’s research involves cases that are still in the courts, one may be told of the principle of sub judice. This means that one cannot comment publicly on a case in such a way that would influence the decision of the court, any person found to be in violation of this can be held in contempt of court. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The penalty for contempt may be either a fine or imprisonment. The amount of the fine or the length of imprisonment is at the discretion of the judges, who may also issue a mere admonition, reprimand, or chastisement. A lawyer found in contempt of the court could be suspended from practice. But there should be no problem so long as researchers refrain from speculation and opinion and keep to facts and evidence already presented during the trial. </li></ul>
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