The Judiciary’s Freedom of Expression
Issues involved in the judicial freedom of expression can be explored on three interrelated and complementary levels. One of them can be depicted as legal-dogmatic, where the examination centers on identifying and studying the relevant legislation in place, along with the case law underpinned by it. Another level, though also closely bound up with law, is more accurately defined as socio-legal. In this context, attention is given to a certain ensemble of factual social and political realities the investigation of which may include, for example, fathoming the citizens’ actual expectations as to judges’ expression, capturing the effect of social transformations on the relevance of issues related to judicial expression, and/or scrutinizing judges’ actual practice regarding this matter. The third level is philosophical and encompasses reflection on how far and in what ways the traditional arguments concerning the freedom of expression as pondered in philosophical discourse are applicable to judges and their specific role and/or on the bearing that such concepts as the rule of law, the separation of powers, and human dignity have on the judiciary’s freedom of expression.

Papers read and discussed in the workshop may address one of the three levels or their combinations. Examples of pertinent topics to be addressed include:
a) distinction between the private and public sites of judges’ expression (and within the latter, between the courtroom and other settings, for example, social media);
b) the extent to which the scope of judges’ expression depends on their particular functions in the judicature (e.g., possible distinctiveness inscribed in the presidency of the court and press secretaryship);
c) the influence of cultural factors on the regulation of judicial expression;
d) judges’ involvement in the public debate on the organization and operations of the administration of justice;
e) the judge’s role, specifically considering how far the freedom of expression may be constrained in view of holding this function and how far the idea of responsibility both for one’s decisions and for the condition of law in public space is implicated in the judicial profession.

The inclusion of a comparatist perspective would make the workshop particularly effective. This could be achieved if the participants represented a variety of legal orders and philosophical traditions.