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Third Workshop on Judicial Integrity and Ethics

Ecuador, June 7, 2019. The World Network of Judicial Integrity, the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the National Court of Justice organized the III Workshop on Judicial Integrity and Ethics, held on June 5 and 6, 2019 in the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.

Around 50 justice operators participated in this workshop.

Dr. Marco Hinojosa, President of the Association of Judges and Magistrates, was in charge of welcoming the participants.

For her part, Dr. Paulina Aguirre Suarez, President of the National Court of Justice, in her speech referred to the coordinated work she has done since 2018 with the UNODC in the fight against corruption.

The President of the CNJ pointed out the importance of living in a democratic society free of corruption; and highlighted the preponderant role of the Judicial Function in the fight against corruption. "We must be aware that the Judicial Branch is the main power of the State called to fight corruption, because the administration of justice must ensure the construction of a democratic and just society," said the head of the highest administrative body of ordinary justice of the country.

Finally, the President of the CNJ called on the judges to be guardians of the rule of law. "Ladies and gentlemen of Ecuador, let us take advantage of these spaces to become aware of our capacity, to respond to the challenge of contributing to the transit of a society weakened by corruption, providing an independent and transparent justice," he said.

The workshops were led by Dr. Marco Rodríguez, judge of the National Court of Justice; Jason Reichelt, expert in integrity and judicial independence of the United Nations Organization; and Stacy de la Torre, member of the Commission of International Experts to Fight Corruption in Ecuador CEICCE.

On June 5 the judges analyzed the Bangalore Principles, the structural problems of their implementation in Ecuador and the global standards of judicial integrity.

On the last day of the workshop, however, they discussed in depth case studies on independence, integrity, equality, good performance and diligence. In closing, the plenary session consulted on the main problems faced by judges in the country, with the lack of judicial, administrative and budgetary independence affecting those of the country's justice system.


Opinions of judges

Dr. Ruth Arregui Roldán, Judge of the Criminal Judicial Unit of the Provincial Court of Bolivar assured that the topics discussed in the workshop will allow her to strengthen her work and said that this type of events should be held more often to expand knowledge.

"The course was very interesting because it updates knowledge and above all it is put into practice both inside and outside the Judicial Function. I thank the United Nations and the National Court of Justice, "said Dr. Fabián Toscano, Judge of the Provincial Court of Bolívar.

"I thank the United Nations and the National Court of Justice for the opportunity they give to the judges of Ecuador and try to increase our knowledge base, regarding the principles of Bangalore, these principles what they do is strengthen what one is doing day by day regarding the judicial career, increase the way of thinking, try to strengthen our independence, impartiality, balance in our decisions and also be aware that this is such a delicate position and that we are there to effectively do justice, "said the Dr. Fernando Tinajero, President of the Provincial Court of Justice of Cotopaxi,

Dr. Inés Barrera, President of the Provincial Court of Morona Santiago, affirmed that "the course allows us to reinforce the integrity that each judge must have because in our hands is the judgment of citizen behavior, for that reason I consider it very important to replicate this workshop before all the judges of Ecuador and to reinforce the principles of independence, in which the judge has the decision not to allow interference neither internal nor external and to resolve with absolute impartiality ".