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.
Recent months have seen wide support from among senior judges in Latin America for the forthcoming Global Judicial Integrity Network . Part of UNODC's Doha Declaration Global Programme , the Network will assist judiciaries across the globe in strengthening judicial integrity and preventing corruption in the justice sector, in line with Article 11 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption . In June, Presidents and Judges of Constitutional Courts of Latin America gathered for their XXIII Annual Meeting in Brasilia, Brazil . Issues discussed included judicial ethics, the role of Constitutional Courts in tackling corruption, human trafficking, and fundamental rights, Constitution and economy.
This month marked a period of promising engagement with Judicial Associations from over ten African countries and mutual agreement around the priority needs of Mozambique to strengthen its judicial integrity framework.
As part of ongoing work under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, UNODC attended the annual meeting of the Africa group of the International Association of Judges (IAJ) in Maputo where the theme of judicial independence was discussed, as well met key Mozambican judicial figures to discuss strengthening the country's integrity framework.
Barely a decade ago, suggesting to judicial officers that introducing rules and obligations to declare their assets and other relevant interests and activities as part of upholding judicial integrity and preventing opportunities for corruption was met with great scepticism.
However, in many jurisdictions nowadays, the issue has gained traction and judges themselves are no longer shying away from the debate. Given this shift, there is a real opportunity to advance this discussion, exchange experiences and learn from those jurisdictions that have introduced financial and similar disclosure systems for their judges. The Global Judicial Integrity Network, an initiative about to be launched by UNODC under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, will provide a unique platform for this exchange.
The creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network moved a step closer to being realized as UNODC held its first regional preparatory meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Panamanian capital. Once live, the Network will bring together Chief Justices and members of judicial bodies from across the world and will be the first ever global platform dedicated exclusively to upholding judicial integrity and preventing corruption within the justice system.