2019 Magic Judge Code Update

Hello everyone!

Today I posted an updated version of the Magic Judge Code. The revisions to the Code were based on feedback from JCC members, Regional Coordinators, Program Coordinators, and judges who submitted feedback about the Code directly. You can read the updated version of the Code at the link above, but I wanted to talk about the changes in some detail to make them easier to understand. I’ll follow the bullet points in the Appendix A changelog of the Code, skipping over things like clarity fixes and the removal of references that are no longer relevant.

Communications Facilitator

Previous versions of the Code indicated that a JCC member was able to act as a Communications Facilitator (formerly “advocate”) for a judge who was the subject of a JCC case. This was contradictory to internal JCC policy. It seemed odd to allow someone with complete knowledge of internal JCC processes to act as a Communications Facilitator, from perspectives of both fairness (perceived and actual) and logistics (the JCC member would have to recuse themselves from the case), so the Code has been updated to indicate that JCC members may not act as Communications Facilitators.

Abuse of Trust / Abuse of Program Role

I was made aware that there was no section of the Code that seemed to cover a theoretical situation where a judge who was taking or about to take an exam might obtain an answer key to that exam or sneak in a “cheat sheet”. Philosophically, this seems to fit best in the Abuse of Trust / Abuse of Program Role section, so it is now covered there.


The Appeals section has been updated to include the new process (outlined in this Program Coordinators blog post) by which judges can appeal rulings from the JCC.

Misrepresenting Judge Status

There used to be a section called “Impersonating a Judge.” It’s now called “Misrepresenting Judge Status” – it already covered situations where a judge claims to be of a higher certification level than they are, so it seemed prudent for its name to change to reflect that.

Advanced Roles

The Appeals process wasn’t all that changed in this Program Coordinators blog post. It also added that individuals who, in 2019 and forward, become suspended will lose Advanced Role certifications, and that suspended judges will be unable to apply for such certifications for two years following the end of their suspensions. This is now included in the Code. As Demotion and Decertification are philosophically intended to be more serious than suspension, the Code also includes removal of Advanced Roles for judges who are demoted or decertified.

Thanks for reading and for continuing to uphold the Magic Judge Code!

-Eric Levine

TCG Solutions, LLC

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