UNODC supports the strengthening of integrity within the justice system in Mali

28-12-2020

BAMAKO - 42 members of the Malian judiciary participated in a workshop on the application of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct in Mali, held in Bamako from 30 November to 2 December 2020.

The workshop was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as part of a joint initiative under UNODC Sahel Programme. It results from a partnership with the Global Programme of the Doha Declaration and was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Mali, through the National Directorate for the Administration of Justice (DNAJ), and with the participation of the Inspectorate of Judicial Services (ISJ), the National Directorate of Judicial Affairs and Seal (DNAJS) and the National Directorate of Penitentiary Administration and Supervised Education (DNAPES).

The participants, comprising eight women, came from the entire Malian justice system, including judges from both the judiciary and the public prosecutor's office, as well as clerks and representatives of the Order of Judicial Officers, the Bar Association and the directorates and services of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

This initiative allowed for a discussion on the application of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct of 2002, as well as for recalling the principles established by Article 11 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Part of Chapter II of the Convention, focusing on preventive measures, this article emphasizes the crucial role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption and recognizes that, in order to play this role effectively, the judiciary itself must be free of corruption and its members act with integrity.

In addition, the new guidelines on the use of social media and gender considerations developed by the Global Judicial Integrity Network were presented.

Indeed, UNODC launched in 2016 a Global Programme to provide continued support and technical assistance to Member States in specific areas covered by the Doha Declaration, adopted at the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2015. One of its main outcomes was the launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network in April 2018. This platform supports justice systems in the development and implementation of strategies, activities and mechanisms to strengthen integrity and accountability within the justice system. The Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and the work of the Network were presented by a judge, member of the Network's Advisory Board.

In addition, an eminent Malian magistrate, trainer in ethics at the National Judicial Training Institute in Bamako, recalled the content of the current Judicial Code of Ethics of Mali adopted on 16 December 2002. This paved the way for a reflection and discussion on the opportunities for strengthening this Code, notably taking into account the new standards formulated at the international level.

Thus, the final communiqué adopted at the end of this workshop mentions "rich discussions" and includes numerous recommendations, underlining the importance of respecting the Bangalore Principles, so that the irreproachable conduct of all members of the judiciary can contribute to increasing public confidence in the justice system and public institutions.

The members of the Malian judiciary also recommend the creation of a platform for consultation between national actors for the promotion of judicial integrity, joining the Global Judicial Integrity Network and having Mali as a pilot site for a training-of-trainers programme on judicial ethics and integrity within the framework of this Network.

Finally, they recommend that the content and presentation of the Judicial Code of Ethics be amended and that circular letters of interpretation be drawn up to facilitate its understanding, while ensuring the integration of the dispersed provisions existing in other texts. The aim is to promote a better understanding of the principles set out in the Code, in the light of evolving international guidelines and good practices, including on the use of social media and gender considerations. To the same end, the participants encourage the drafting of a Manual of Ethics illustrated with practical examples and compiling the jurisprudence of the Supreme Judicial Council.

 

For more information:

-          On the Global Judicial Integrity Network : http://www.unodc.org/ji

-          Final communiqué (in French)