The concept of judicial independence, in its theoretical sense, may appear to be a banal and non-contentious issue. However, when it is put into practice in the discharge of one's duties as a judge it becomes a loaded issue which is critical in the delivery of real and substantial justice. The reality is that the institutional independence of the judiciary goes to the very root of the ethical and constitutional obligation owed by a judge in exercising their duty of care to those parties who appear before them. It is essential, however, that the judge feels unencumbered by the possibility of negative consequences which may flow from the decision which they may make.
Nearly every aspect of crime and justice was brought up in Vienna during last month's 28 th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), in what was a very eventful week for UNODC and for its Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. Of direct relevance to the Programme's component on sports were two resolutions on crime prevention that were tabled and passed by the CCPCJ, the principle policymaking body of the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
Titled " Strengthening the engagement of all members of society in crime prevention," the first resolution in question stresses the importance of fostering partnerships with civil society and the private sector for prevention.
Supported by the Prisoner Rehabilitation component of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, the project 'Building Freedom' has been implemented in two prisons in La Paz. It aims at teaching women prisoners various skills they can apply in the construction industry, including building, metal work, plumbing, pipefitting, electricity and carpentry.
Last month, in celebration of Mother's Day, with the support of UNODC, some of these women participated in the Socio-Community Productive Fair, organized by the General Directorate of the Penitentiary System of Bolivia, taking place in these two women's prison facilities.
The practice of sports is receiving increasing attention as a powerful tool for crime prevention, especially in dealing with the younger generation. For UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, Youth Crime Prevention through Sports has been an active component since 2016, promoting holistic crime prevention policies and raising awareness on the importance of sports-based activities; they aim at keeping youth away from crime and teaching them life skills to help them deal with their circumstances.
As with its various components promoting a culture of lawfulness, UNODC partners with other international organization around the world, and its cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) builds on the Joint Action Plan for 2018-2019.
It has been a busy and eventful week for UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. While the work of its different components was discussed and presented in-depth on various panels held on the occasion of the 28th United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the impact of the Global Programme as a whole was the subject of a main side event giving a glance into its achievements to a packed room.