Pirate Bay trial sparks legal ethics debate

Sweden needs to adopt stricter ethical guidelines for judges clear following accusations of judicial bias in the Pirate Bay trial, according to legal professionals.

The question of ethical rules for officers of the court already came up in a study on public confidence in the court system last year. The file-sharing trial once again raised the issue and professional associations would also like to have ethical regulations in place, according to Thed Adelswärd, chairman of the Union of Swedish Judges (Domareförbundet).

In practical terms, this might cover which associations a judge is allowed to belong to, but first and foremost, such rules would clarify how judges are to behave in a professional capacity.

The discussion of ethics for judges follows claims by the lawyers representing the Pirate Bay defendants of a conflict of interest stemming from the judge’s membership in a member of organizations that take a pro-copyright stance. Last week, Sweden’s Court of Appeal ruled that the judge in the high profile case was not biased following the lawyers’ request for a retrial.

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