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.
As the world watched in dismay at the distressing consequences of COVID-19, what held us together in Malaysia is the belief that nothing is insurmountable. Thus, with characteristic stoicism, the Malaysian Judiciary put several measures in place, for it is inconceivable that the administration and accessibility to justice should come to a grinding halt.
Even if the courts are not listed as 'essential services' under the relevant regulation, the enabling provision of the Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act (1988) allowed certain protective measures to be put in place to ensure that COVID-19 is curbed and confined. As such, comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures for the courts were formulated, incorporating both the form and substance of court administration.
Since ancient times, China has always advocated for a culture of integrity. The famous philosopher Confucius once said, "An intellectual who inspires himself in the pursuit of truth, but is ashamed of old clothes and coarse food, is not worth consulting." Attaching great importance to judicial integrity, China's Chief Justice Zhou Qiang clearly points out that "Judicial corruption should be resolutely punished with a zero-tolerance attitude." The Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China have made provisions for the corrupt behaviour of judges, such as the perversion of justice for bribes and abuse of power.
After independence, Montenegro adopted its constitution in 2007. The highest legal act of an independent and sovereign state of Montenegro, for the first time, stipulated that Montenegro was a state based on the rule of law. It is this constitutional determination that has directed our country to make fundamental changes to its own state system, in order to create democratic state institutions dedicated to the protection and respect of human rights and the fight against all forms of crimes.
As of May 1, 2020, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). On 3 April 2020, the Supreme Court joined the FSM National Government and the four State Governments efforts to keep the coronavirus out of the FSM. The Supreme Court issued Emergency Order No. 1, in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Court cases in Mauritius are traditionally heard in open court with legal advisers, litigants, witnesses as well as the court staff in attendance. In regular circumstances, the public also has physical access to the courts and the administrative sections during office hours. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to previous methods and pushed the judiciary to expand its virtual operations.
The Government of Mauritius initiated a lockdown on 20 March 2020 under section 79 of the Public Health Act to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is an extraordinary measure that could limit or suspend fundamental rights and freedoms. All public and private businesses were closed, but the Courts continued operations as one of the 'essential services' for the hearing of urgent cases.