Federal judges reinforce their own code of conduct against sexual harassment

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By Associate press

WASHINGTON – The federal judiciary on Tuesday revised its Code of Conduct for Judges and Judicial Officers to more clearly spell inappropriate behavior at work, including sexual harassment.

The changes also make it clear that judges and judicial staff have a responsibility to report misdemeanors, and reciprocating against someone for reporting offenses is unacceptable.

The amendments approved by the police force of the federal court system, the United Nations Legal Conference, come into force immediately and come after more than a year of study and work.

In December 2017, the Supreme Court Justice John Roberts called for a working party to investigate the judicial behavior policies at work. His request came after news reports of 9th American Judge Court Judge Alex Kozinski, who retired after charges by women, including former lawyers, that he had touched them inappropriately, made scary comments, and showed them pornography.

The Judges and Judicial Officers' Working Group asked by Mr Roberts called for a report in June 2018. It considered that inappropriate behavior in the federal judiciary is "not far-reaching" but also "not limited to a few isolated cases" and made further recommendations actions.

One of the recommendations was to revise the codes of conduct. The report also recommended streamlining the process of identifying and correcting offenses and expanding training programs to raise awareness and prevent inappropriate behavior.

As part of its response to these recommendations, the federal courts have set up a legal integrity office where employees can advise and assist with workplace behavior issues and report harassment or abuse. The office's first manager, Jill Langley, was hired in December. Individual courts create similar initiatives.