This section contains opinion pieces written by Global Judicial Integrity Network participants, who are members of judiciaries worldwide. The pieces focus on the personal opinions and experiences of these external experts on issues related to judicial integrity. All opinion pieces written in 2018-2019 have been compiled in one review journal, available here.
Please note that all opinions expressed in this section of the website are the opinions of the authors, who are external experts, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of UNODC.
Judges are the public face of justice and of the rule of law. As such, they have a duty to live up to the highest standards of integrity and impartiality in order to preserve public trust in what is a most fundamental pillar of democracy.
Codes of conduct are a pivotal instrument to translate core values into behavioural norms. They do not only have an aspirational nature, showing the best path to resolve ethical dilemmas, but they must also be effectively implemented in practice. In keeping with safeguarding judicial independence, implementation must come first and foremost from within the judiciary itself.
Large swathes of people in rural Malaysia live in remote corners, especially in the states of Sabah and Sarawak (formerly known as North Borneo) - home of the famed "Man from Sandakan". Most of the populace in these parts are indigenous. By and large, they are vulnerable by reason of their poverty and intellectual disadvantage.
In Argentina, the justice system is going through a crisis of trust and legitimacy. One of the reasons for this crisis is that access to justice presents numerous difficulties that are aggravated by the lack of public policies that strengthen transparency, accountability and citizens' participation in the judiciary.
In line with the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and the provisions for its implementation, we believe that public confidence in the justice system is of the utmost importance in a modern and democratic society. It is also essential that judges honour jurisdictional functions and actively work to promote transparency in the judiciary.
Therefore, it is our duty to echo the citizens' claims and to set out concrete actions to create a new way of administering justice in our country.
As an International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) member and as a Moroccan magistrate, I strongly believe that corruption and unethical practices significantly affect development and progress, in addition to hindering the stability of states. Preventing judicial corruption requires synergy to consolidate the principle of integrity and the moralization of public life, as well as link responsibility to identifying and combating corruption. In this vein, the Moroccan judiciary has been improving both its corruption reporting mechanisms, as well as targeting corruption within the judiciary itself.
In October 2018, the Southern African Chief Justices' Forum (SACJF) formally adopted the Lilongwe Principles and Guidelines on the Selection and Appointment of Judicial Officers. The Lilongwe Principles and Guidelines, which have previously been discussed in a 'Views' piece by Justice Sanji Monageng, are significant, as they are the first such guidelines to be developed in Africa, by an African institution, in response to specific circumstances that pertain to Africa. Thus, the adoption of the Lilongwe Principles and Guidelines is an embodiment of the spirit of finding African solutions to Africa's governance challenges.