Strengthening the Integrity of the Judiciary
A serious impediment to the success of any anti-corruption strategy is a corrupt judiciary. An ethically compromised judiciary means that the legal and institutional mechanism designed to curb corruption, however well-targeted, efficient or honest, remains crippled. Unfortunately, evidence is steadily and increasingly surfacing of widespread corruption in the courts in many parts of the world.
To confront the problem, the UN is taking a variety of approaches. It is examining judicial corruption in detail and seeking to identify means of addressing it, in higher and lower levels of court systems.
The objectives of strengthening judicial integrity are to:
- Formulate the concept of judicial integrity and devise the methodology for introducing that concept without compromising the principle of judicial independence;
- Facilitate a safe and productive learning environment for reform minded chief justices around the world;
- Raise awareness regarding judicial integrity and to develop, guide, and monitor technical assistance projects aimed at strengthening judicial integrity and capacity.
In close collaboration with Transparency International (TI), the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the Anti-Corruption Unit organized four meetings of chief justices from common and civil law countries supporting them in identifying and applying best practices in strengthening judicial integrity and capacity. The outputs of this process included a model action plan for judicial reform, a methodology for the assessment of justice sector integrity and capacity and the Bangalore Universal Principles of Judicial Conduct, which was submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at its 59th session in 2003.
5th Meeting of the Judicial Integrity Group, 28 February 2007, Vienna, Austria
The Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting to Develop
a Technical Guide for Strengthening Judicial Integrity and Capacity, 1-2 March 2007, Vienna, Austria
The purpose of the above meetings will be, as mandated by the ECOSOC Resolution 2006/23, to review comments received by Member States concerning the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, as well as the draft commentary on the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and a technical guide to be used in providing technical assistance aimed at strengthening judicial integrity and capacity