There is global consensus that the core conduct characteristics necessary for an effective and principled judiciary are independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, equality, competence and diligence. Most judiciaries have formally pledged to uphold these principles, laid out in detail by the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, one of the basic documents through which the Global Judicial Integrity Network promotes the rule of law.
Despite many judiciaries' best efforts to sustain lawfulness, however, potential impediments can hinder judges' ability to carry out their functions; this can come through pressure of various kinds, both intended (as a deliberate attempt to influence judges) and unintended (through circumstances which may lead judges to be restrained in their decisions).
Judicial misconduct breaks down the very fibre of what is necessary for a functional judiciary- citizens who believe their judges are fair and impartial. The judiciary cannot exist without the trust and confidence of the people. Judges must, therefore, be accountable to legal and ethical standards. In holding them accountable for their behaviour, judicial conduct review must be performed without invading the independence of judicial decision-making. This task can be daunting.
Mr. David J. Sachar, Executive Director of the Judicial Discipline and Disciplinary Commission in Arkansas, United States and Advisory Board Member of the National Center for State Courts, recently shared his views on judicial misconduct with UNODC, as part of the Organization's on-going work to exchange good practices in the investigation of misconduct.
The 'Line Up, Live Up' curriculum is currently piloted in 11 countries around the globe, including in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, building the capacity of sports coaches, teachers and community workers by enabling them to use sport as a tool for prevention of violence and crime among youth.
One of the important elements of the initiative is to facilitate access to sports for youth, especially those from marginalised communities, as well as through the refurbishment of sports centres and schools. In Tajikistan, UNODC supported the renovation of a sports centre on taekwondo and archery in Dushanbe, in order to improve the condition of the facility and increase local youth's access to sports. While in Kyrgyzstan, two additional sports centres were renovated in Osh and Mailyy-Suu cities.
For more than three decades, information and communications technology (ICT) advancements have burst into the operations of courts and prosecutors' offices promising transparency, efficiency and radical changes to working practices, such as paperless courts. Even if in most jurisdictions such promises have yet to be fulfilled, software programmes and algorithms are already executing growing chunks of judicial procedures. The impacts such technologies have on the functioning of justice systems and the values endorsed by the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct are mostly positive.
Children playing team sports together not only get the physical benefits of activity and the advantages of teamwork, but they can also learn valuable skills which they can apply in numerous other settings. Sports programmes have therefore increasingly given weight to these factors, using games and physical activities to teach young people how to resist social pressures to engage in delinquency, crime and drugs, how to cope with anxiety, and how to communicate effectively with peers, amongst other life skills. UNODC's own Line Up, Live Up initiative, has been launched for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, in the State of Palestine, in cooperation with the Higher Council for Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Education.