At its meeting in January 2019 in Doha, the Advisory Board agreed that one of the areas that the Network could look at in more detail is judicial immunity and its role in safeguarding judicial integrity and independence. In particular, the Board members agreed to develop a brief paper that would analyze the notion of judicial immunity with a view to clarifying its definition and scope as well as the links between judicial immunity, integrity, independence and accountability in accordance with the existing international standards.
Following that guidance, UNODC embarked on the process of researching and collecting information on the links between judicial immunity, integrity and independence and the question of what protections judges should be afforded to be able to exercise their functions in line with international standards, in particular the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct.
A dedicated expert group meeting was held in Vienna in August 2019, which gathered senior judges and international judicial experts from 12 countries and 11 judicial associations and organizations. The participants debated different aspects of the complex judicial immunity discourse and shared invaluable guidance and experiences from their countries and regions. For more information, please read the summary report of that meeting.
The paper will summarize the key messages gathered from Network participants and the Advisory Board on the topic. Its purpose will be to serve as a succinct collection of the key considerations that should be taken into account when discussing judicial immunity, and thus may be of use not only to judiciaries and individual judges, but also to legislators, policymakers and the general public.