Webinar “Ethical Aspects of Communication in Social Media”


December 1, 2020, 16:00

The National School of Judges, with assistance from the USAID New Justice Program, continues cooperation with the National Judicial College, Reno, USA, and offers a next series of open webinars of various subjects to judges, judicial assistants, and court staff members.

The next webinar in this series – “Ethical Aspects of Communication in Social Media”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the mode of operation for judiciaries all over the world. As with many judicial systems around the world, due to the quarantine restrictions and social distancing requirements Ukrainian judicial employees tend to communicate more online and via social media, which creates new challenges for them in terms of following ethical rules. This webinar will emphasize that all judicial branch employees, including judges, jurors, and court staff members, are bound by the ethical rules that are applicable both to their offline and online communication and conduct, though some judicial employees may believe that there are no limitations to conduct in social media as it is a virtual in a sense “not-real” communication where the identity of a person is not verified. Also, the webinar will help the participants to look at the simple things like “friending” other people in social media, commenting on any topics or cases in social media, and disclosing any information online, through the lens of ethical requirements and public trust in the judiciary.

After this 120-minute webcast, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the ethical requirements applicable to any online communication including communication via social media;
  • Understand and explain how behavior in social media may undermine public confidence in the judiciary as a whole;
  • Identify and distinguish between proper and improper behavior in social media;
  • Identify and distinguish between proper and improper action in dealing with ex parte communication via online communication tools.

Honorable Judge Thomas A. Zonay will conduct the webinar.

Judge Thomas A. Zonay is a judge of the Vermont Superior Court.  Prior to his appointment he was an attorney in private practice and, before that, a police officer.  He is the current chair of the Vermont Judicial Education Committee, current chair of the Vermont Criminal Rules Committee, the current Chair of the Vermont Sentencing Commission, and a member of the Vermont Judicial Conduct Board, which Board is charged with addressing allegations of judicial misconduct.  At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge Zonay was chairman of the Vermont Human Rights Commission.  Judge Zonay is an alumnus of the National Judicial College, joined its faculty in 2012, and is currently serving his first term on the NJC Faculty Council representing General Jurisdiction.


The webinar will be conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform.  You can join the meeting at this link.

Please update your Zoom client/application (https://zoom.us/download) to ensure availability of new translation settings.