In the present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 35/11, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers focuses on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly by judges and prosecutors, both offline and online. While judges and prosecutors enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in human rights instruments, as public officials, they have special duties and responsibilities that justify the introduction of specific restrictions on their fundamental freedoms. The key is to strike an appropriate balance between the rights of judges and prosecutors and the legitimate interest of the national authorities in protecting the independence, impartiality and authority of their institutions.
Throughout the report, the Special Rapporteur documents various forms of interference with the exercise of fundamental freedoms by judges and prosecutors. Not all disciplinary measures adopted against judges and prosecutors in these cases can be regarded as being necessary in a democratic society to maintain public trust in the judiciary or the public prosecution.