11 June 2019 - Confidence in the rule of law is a basic element of a culture of lawfulness, and the promotion of judicial independence, transparency and integrity is of utmost importance to UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, which works with judiciaries around the world to this end.
The Programme's Senior Officer, Marco Teixeira, was invited last month to Argentina to discuss the objectives of the Doha Declaration, at the Judicial Council of the City of Buenos Aires. Mr. Teixeira presented the four components of the Programme, and in particular the work of the Judicial Integrity pillar and the activities of the Global Judicial Integrity Network: "The Global Judicial Integrity Network is a unique platform that provides peer to peer learning and connects judges worldwide. The potential of this Network is unparalleled, this is a Network created by and for judges, this is your Network."
As part of the work of the Judicial Integrity component, the Programme helps prepare interested jurisdictions to roll-out training activities based on the recently finalized Judicial Ethics Training Tools. The City of Buenos Aires, having committed to this roll-out, has appointed Judge Marcelo Pablo Vázquez as a focal point for this process, and he was one of the attending judges at the recent Train-the-trainers' workshop, held in Vienna in March 2019. Judge Vázquez had intervened during that meeting to share his experience as part of the Network, commenting on the matters which connect judges around the world: "We are all judges, we have the same problems, the same challenges, and the same commitments. There are also big differences between judges, with different competences and different social problems. There is a particularly big gap when we compare ourselves with colleagues from other countries where there is a social conflict, where their lives are at risk or even lost in the exercise of their duties. It is communication, and the power to be part of the network, which will allow us to do our work with the greatest safeguards and with the minimum independence necessary, so as not to lose our lives in the performance of our duties. We do not have this problem here, but we must have the vision and generosity to contribute, so that the situation of other judges can improve and that we can all offer citizens a justice service that is valued in another way."
Mr. Teixeira's busy visit to Argentina also included meetings with the Magistrates of the Judicial Council of the City of Buenos Aires, to exchange views on the new challenges for ethics and judicial integrity in Argentina, and, in particular, in Buenos Aires. In this regard, the President of the Judicial Council, Judge Alberto Maques, noted "the importance of the meeting and the relevance of the participation of the Magistrates in UNODC programmes, and especially in the initiative of the Global Judicial Integrity Network." In addition, Mr. Maques stressed "the absolute commitment of the Judicial Council to contribute and promote the Network in Buenos Aires."
The Judicial Council of the City of Buenos Aires will roll-out the training tools in its jurisdiction in the near future, and further activities are foreseen to promote the Global Judicial Integrity Network in the Argentine judiciary.
Mr. Teixeira also took the opportunity of his visit to invite Argentina to participate in the Second-High Level Meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network: past, present, and future, to be held in Doha, Qatar on 18 and19 November 2019.