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. To read a selection of the articles in other UN languages, please select the language from the navigation bar at the top of the page. Please click here for Portuguese and Korean.
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.
The effectiveness of any judiciary depends upon its perceived legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the public. This perception requires not only that the judges uphold the highest standards of integrity and independence, but also that states respect judicial independence and do not undermine judicial decisions.
A successful judiciary is one whose members are appointed following a rigorous process assessing both the candidate's legal qualifications as well as integrity. Different countries' constitutions and other laws provide for different requirements, but it is crucial that only the best people are appointed to judicial positions. Judiciaries should not be politicized - this means that ruling parties should not appoint judges who will be answerable to them and not to the constitution and members of the public.
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.
In 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched a global programme to promote a culture of lawfulness. It includes the creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network to share best practices and lessons learned on the fundamental challenges and new questions relating to judicial integrity and the prevention of corruption.
This is an important step for the creation of a common language and a common perspective amongst different domains of the United Nations. In my capacity as Special Rapporteur, I have already expressed my full disposal to collaborate in the implementation of this programme.
It is the right time to guarantee further steps to improve the transparency of the court systems along with the implementation of measures to support and enhance the integrity of judges in order to reduce the risk of corrupt behaviour by judicial officers in the future. In this perspective, we consider the Global Judicial Integrity Network an encouraging instrument.