Maputo (Mozambique), 24 April 2023 – Establishing a justice system that prioritizes independence, effectiveness, transparency, protects human rights and strives to be accessible to all is a shared value worldwide. A robust justice system promotes economic stability and socioeconomic development. Importantly, a strong and fair criminal justice system enhances public trust in a country’s institutions. In this sense, supporting States efforts to increase integrity in criminal justice systems remains a key priority for UNODC worldwide and in Mozambique.
The high-level launch event of the Code of Ethics for Judicial Magistrates, developed by the Upper Council of the Judiciary of Mozambique, on 24 April 2023, counted on the support of UNODC’s Programme Office in the country.
The Code of Judicial Ethics for Judicial Magistrates, presented by the Director of the Centre for Legal and Judicial Training, Ms. Elisa Samuel Boerekamp, can certainly have a positive impact on the Mozambican criminal justice system and is a crucial step towards advancing ethical excellence.
By outlining key principles such as independence, impartiality, and equality, the Code can help ensure that judges and other criminal justice practitioners in Mozambique are held to high standards of professionalism and ethical behavior. For instance, by promoting independence and equality, the Code can help ensure that all defendants receive fair and equal treatment under the law, regardless of their social status, ethnicity, or other factors.
This initiative demonstrates Mozambique's criminal justice institutions' dedication to enhancing judicial integrity and boosting public trust in the criminal justice system. The presence of high-level officials, including the President of the Supreme Court and the Upper Council of the Judiciary, H.E. Adelino Muchanga, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, H.E. Filimão Joaquim Suaze, and the Ombudsperson for Human Rights and Justice, H.E. Isaque Chande, among others, reflects this commitment.
The launching of this instrument constitutes yet another success story of the strong partnerships between UNODC and several Mozambican institutions that aim to strengthen the country’s justice system and enhancing integrity in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. UNODC’s support in this field is made possible through the generous funding of the Kingdom of Norway, represented in the event by Norwegian Ambassador to Mozambique H.E. Haakon Gram-Johannessen.
UNODC welcomes the Code’s emphasis on the need to combating corruption, a core thematic area of UNODC's mandate. The launch of the instrument thus represents progress towards the full implementation of Article 11 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which urges Member States to adopt measures to strengthen the integrity of the judiciary.
“We are reminded that corruption directly attacks the principles of independence, impartiality and integrity, and therefore reminded of the importance of tackling this phenomenon that affects the foundations of the rule of law”, said Mr. Antonio De Vivo, Officer-in-Charge of UNODC in Mozambique.
UNODC will continue supporting Mozambique in its efforts to promote the rule of law, because, as affirmed in the new Code of Ethics for Judicial Magistrates in Mozambique, “integrity in the judicial sphere is more than a virtue – it is a necessity.”