Promoting Integrity in the Criminal Justice Chain

 Michelle Gyles-Mc Donnough, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Malaysia inaugurated the UNDP experts meeting.

Date: 4 September 2015

Location: Putrajaya, Malaysia

The debate on Sustainable Development Goal 16 has highlighted the importance of pursuing strategies that both aim at providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer found that the public institutions entrusted to protect people, namely the police and the judiciary, are seen as most prone to bribery by the public. Corruption happens not only in court, but at all stages of the criminal justice chain – e.g. from the initial reporting to the police, investigation, throughout the prosecution, trial until the detention by penal institutions such as prisons. Corruption in the criminal justice chain undermines people’s ability to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice in conformity with human rights standards.

Using the opportunity presented by the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference, UNDP, in cooperation with U4 and GIZ, organized an expert meeting on 4 September 2015 in Putrajaya, Malaysia, which brought together over 40 participants including representatives from the judiciary and anti-corruption agencies, UNDP country offices, as well as development partners and other international experts. The meeting took stock of the lessons learned from initiatives in the justice sector to address corruption as well as reviewed existing gaps in approaches and methodologies for identifying and mitigating corruption risks in the criminal justice chain.

The analysis of the case studies and the discussions among participants suggested that the main existing gaps reside in the poor linkages between the assessment results and the consequent programming and policy implementation. As next step experts called for a more systematic engagement of different actors in the justice sector (e.g. police, judges. lawyers, etc.) at the country level to discuss how to identify and mitigate integrity risks in the criminal justice chain.

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