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Article

Образ судьи как риторическая категория и его отражение в решениях европейского суда по правам человека

The ancient rhetorical canon and the Russian rhetorical tradition, including pre-Soviet tradition of judicial rhetoric, considered ‘orator/rhetor’s character’ as a central part of the ethical appeal, according to which the rhetor achieves the consent and adherence of the audience to his decisions when he possesses outstanding intellectual and moral characters. This is especially true when rhetors are persons who are vested with powers and authority, and thus can influence people due to their high position in the society. Judges inherently are influential rhetors, and they must be the epitome of the rhetorical ideal. The rhetorical character of a judge as a person of sound sense, high morals and benevolence found its reflection in the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. More frequently the ECtHR refers to ‘judge’s discretion’.  As far as it poses restrictions on public presentations made by a judge and prevents him from commenting the on-going trial proceedings, the equality of the participants in the act of communication   is secured by the imposing restrictions also on other  participants of communicative exchange  – journalists, lawyers and parties to a case, who should restrain from insulting words and unsubstantiated personal attacks on judges, as well as avoid putting pressure on judges through formation of public opinion about how a certain case must be resolved by the court. The analysis of the judge’s image from the point of view of the rhetorical ideal, where the judge is included in the communicative act of decision-making, stresses the importance of the positive image of judges and judiciary for the legitimization of the judicial decisions and support of public confidence in judicial power.  However, the judge’s image of vir bonus – a respected, honest and discreet person - should be supported not by silencing the cases of judge’s wrongful behavior, but by judge’s support of his image of vir bonus by his high morals and good behavior both inside and outside the courtroom.   A judge must be a man of high ethical standards, not just seem to be the epitome of the rhetorical ideal.