Responding to complaints about judicial junkets and conflicts of interest, the Judicial Conference on Tuesday enacted new rules to force judges to use conflict-checking software and to promptly disclose their participation in privately sponsored seminars for which they are reimbursed.

Separately, a committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued a report recommending modest changes in how federal courts handle ethical complaints that members of the public file against judges. Among the recommendations is what Breyer described as a “Dutch uncle approach,” whereby judges would seek advice on handling certain complaints from judges of another circuit to avoid “home court” bias.

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