25 August 2017 - In the run up to the launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network in 2018, UNODC this week held its preparatory meeting for Europe, bringing together a diverse group of justice officials and associations from over 20 countries from across the region. Following similar activities held in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016, and ahead of meetings for Africa planned for later this year, the two-day discussion offered a forum to exchange good practices and challenges in judicial integrity, as well as expectations of the Network once it goes live.
Speaking at the opening, UNODC's Director for Treaty Affairs, John Brandolino, highlighted the role of the judiciary as the guardian of the rule of law and their crucial work in combatting corruption. "The UN Convention against Corruption - specifically Article 11 - underlines the need to strengthen integrity in the judiciary and to prevent opportunities for corruption. With your involvement, the Global Judicial Integrity Network will be a crucial tool in enabling this."
Chief Justices, Senior Judges, and representatives from training institutes and judicial disciplinary bodies present at the meeting provided a mix that facilitated fruitful discussions over the two days. The debate was further enriched by the contributions of the representatives of the Commonwealth Magistrates' and Judges' Association, the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary, the Group of States against Corruption, the International Association of Judges, the International Association of Women Judges, the Judicial Integrity Group, the Research Institute of Judicial Systems and the Venice Commission.
These regional inputs will ultimately feed into the final design of the Global Network to support Judiciaries in a range of areas, including:
Additionally, UNODC presented the preliminary results of a recently launched online survey (which can be accessed and completed here) to gather inputs from judges and different stakeholders about priority issues, emerging topics, as well as tools and resources to be developed through the Global Judicial Integrity Network.
The creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network forms part of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. Formed after the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2015, the Global Programme aims to helps countries achieve a sustainable impact on crime prevention, criminal justice, corruption prevention, and the rule of law across four separate, yet interconnected areas.