Corruption in the justice system - whether actual or perceived - poses a real threat to confidence in the rule of law. With this in mind, boosting judicial integrity is an integral part of the Doha Declaration Global Programme.
The Judicial Integrity initiative aims to assist judiciaries across the globe in strengthening judicial integrity and preventing corruption in the justice sector, in line with Article 11 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. For that purpose the initiative will facilitate the creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network.
UNODC has been providing assistance to Member States in strengthening judicial integrity, accountability and professionalism since 2000, by supporting the development of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and producing various tools to help judiciaries to that effect.
The Global Judicial Integrity Network will give new momentum to these efforts and create a platform to support judiciaries in the:
- Exchange of best practices and lessons learned on challenges and emerging issues in judicial integrity and the prevention of corruption;
- Creation of a database of relevant resources;
- Development of tools, practical guidance manuals and training programmes to address national challenges;
- Provision of peer-to-peer advisory services, training and other capacity-building support;
- Assessments of integrity risks and in the development of effective responses to the risks identified; and
- Supporting the creation and strengthening of oversight and accountability mechanisms, such as disciplinary procedures, and the drafting of national or regional integrity strategies for judges and courts.
Recognizing that many jurisdictions have already made great progress in strengthening judicial integrity, sharing these experiences will help build strong and eective justice institutions and a culture of lawfulness on a global scale, strengthen the rule of law and enhance the delivery of fair and transparent justice to every citizen.
After two years of planning, seven regional preparatory meetings, and consultations with approximately 4,000 judges, UNODC launched its Global Judicial Integrity Network this week, in the presence of Chief Justices, senior judges and judicial professionals from around the world.
The Network is a platform for judges to share good practices and lessons learned, to support each other, and to join forces in developing new tools and guidelines for strengthening integrity and preventing corruption in the judicial system. As such, it will also provide access to a large online database featuring thousands of resources, good practices, and other judicial documents for immediate reference.
When judges in every country are able to access pertinent legal and judicial resources, to study good practices and to review a multitude of other materials put at their disposition by UNODC, within a network affording them the opportunity to directly liaise and confer with their peers in other jurisdictions, their individual efforts in fighting corruption and in protecting judicial integrity are immediately reinforced by the power of consensus and sustained by the strength of its universality.
Ultimately, and more importantly, these steps will protect people's right to justice. As inspirational and idealistic as it may seem, this is the goal of every honourable member of the judicial system.
This short documentary captured the historic launch of the first global platform dedicated to boosting judicial accountability and countering corruption within the judicial system around the world.
Addressing the launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network by video message, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov.