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The New Code of Judicial Conduct

for the Philippine Judiciary

Canon 3 (Impariality); Section 4

Reported by:
Clariza A. Reyes

May 14, 2015

Judges shall not knowingly, while a proceeding is before or could
come before them, make any comment that might reasonably be expected
to affect the outcome of such proceeding or impair the manifest fairness
of the process. Nor shall judges make any comment in public or
otherwise that might affect the fair trial of any person or issue.
 This Section warns judges against making any comment that might
reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of the proceedings before them
or "impair the manifest fairness of the process.

 Judges should avoid side remarks, hasty conclusions, loose statements or

gratuitous utterances that suggest they are prejudging a case.
 Not all comments by judges are impermissible. If a judge expresses
open-mindedness regarding the issue at hand and the judges’ comments
do not clearly favor one side over the other, disqualifying oneself may
not be required.

 However, some comments are clearly impermissible in American

courts. Comments indicating that the judge formed an opinion as to the
outcome of a case before hearing evidence and argument are improper.
Related Cases:
 Martinez vs. Giorenella, G.R. No. L-37635, July 22, 1975

A judge was disqualified from trying a criminal case because he

met with the complainants in chambers and advised them to settle with
the accused because their case was weak.
Palang vs. Zosa, G.R. No. L-38229, August 30, 1974
A judge was commended by the Supreme Court when he
voluntarily recused himself from presiding over a civil case because he
had expressed an opinion in a previous case that might have led one of
the parties to doubt his impartiality.
 Gutierrez vs. Santos, G.R. No. L-15824, May 30, 1961

A judge’s act of recusing himself from presiding over a case was

upheld by the Supreme Court. While in private practice, the judge had
expressed an opinion concerning an issue that would unduly benefit one
of the parties. However, the Supreme Court has recently held that judges
and justices are not disqualified from participating in a case simply
because they have written legal articles on the law involved in the case.