Rule 2.2 - Impartiality And Fairness

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

A. A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.

B. A judge may make reasonable accommodations, consistent with the law and court rules, to facilitate the ability of all litigants to be fairly heard.

Comment Text: 

COMMENT [1] To ensure impartiality and fairness to all parties, a judge must be objective and open-minded.

[2] Although each judge comes to the bench with a unique background and personal philosophy, a judge must interpret and apply the law without regard to whether the judge approves or disapproves of the law in question.

[3] When applying and interpreting the law, a judge sometimes may make good-faith errors of fact or law. Errors of this kind do not violate this Rule.

[4] The growth in litigation involving self-represented litigants and the responsibility of courts to promote access to justice warrant reasonable flexibility by judges, consistent with the law and court rules, to ensure that all litigants are fairly heard. Examples of accommodations that may be made include but are not limited to (1) making referrals to any resources available to assist the litigant in the preparation of the case; (2) liberally construing pleadings to facilitate consideration of the issues raised; (3) providing general information about proceeding and foundational requirements; (4) attempting to make legal concepts understandable by using plain language whenever possible; (5) asking neutral questions to elicit or clarify information; (5) modifying the traditional order of taking evidence; and (6) explaining the basis for a ruling.

History Text: 

Amended and effective December 15, 2016.

Associated Court Rules: 
Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct
Group Title: