A judge is an official who presides over a court. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions.
In common law countries, such as the United States, and those with roots in the Commonwealth of Nations, judges have a number of powers which are not known to exist, or are not acknowledged to exist, in civil law legal systems, which collectively make the judiciary a more powerful political force than in civil law countries.
One of these powers is the “contempt of court” power. In a common law system, a judge typically has the power to summarily punish with a fine or imprisonment any misconduct which takes place in the courtroom, and to similarly punish violations of the court’s orders, after a hearing, when they take place outside the courtroom.