Stronger judicial cooperation across the Western Balkans region is crucial for countering serious crimes – notably money laundering, corruption, organized crime, cybercrime and war crimes – speakers underscored at the Third Regional Forum on Judicial Cooperation in Budva, Montenegro.
IDLO is working to promote good governance, fairness and equality through the rule of law. While corruption negates the benefits of development, strengthening the capacity and integrity of institutions promotes economic prosperity and increases citizen’s confidence in public administration, justice and the rule of law.
Through its programs, IDLO is working to combat all forms of corruption by making justice institutions cleaner and more responsive, reducing conflicts of interest in procurement and public life, and enhancing the capacity of institutions and justice actors to fight fraud and economic crime.
IDLO is working around the world in countries including Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines and Ukraine to combat all forms of corruption by making justice institutions cleaner and more responsive, reducing conflicts of interest in procurement and public life, and enhancing the capacity of institutions and justice actors to fight fraud and economic crime.
The Philippines has come a long way in combating money laundering over the past decade, making significant progress on reforming its legal and regulatory framework and addressing deficiencies, but it still experiences substantial challenges in dealing with the complex, transnational issues posed by money laundering.
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic problem which undermines democracy, human rights and governance by weakening state institutions, eroding public confidence and hindering the pathway towards sustainable development. The 2019 Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer found that 80% of citizens of the Bahamas considered corruption in government to be an important issue.
An abandoned movie theater in Mariupol has been restored and rebuilt into the new Mariupol Social Multicenter, a modern building providing public services for residents.
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Photos: ©IDLO_Lorelei Taylor French
Students and scholars from 30 countries convened in Igalo, a coastal village in Montenegro, to study, discuss and exchange views on the rule of law at the European Union and Legal Reform Summer School in July 2019.
When asked if corruption is one of the major challenges facing Ukraine today, the three judges of the recently established High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) interviewed by IDLO were unanimous in their answers. The HACC is due to begin operations in September 2019.
Through its decentralization and anti-corruption efforts, the Government of Ukraine is attempting to improve and extend the application of e-governance, or digital, tools in public administration based on international best practices. Over 100 existing registries and databases managed by various state institutions lack interoperability and do not allow for smooth exchanges of data between each other.
Corruption can be difficult to uncover, especially as technology is increasingly used to conceal corrupt behavior. Corruption cases handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that involve electronic evidence, such as e-mails or social media posts, have contributed to a conviction rate of 100 percent. Yet, law enforcement officers do not always allow electronic evidence in courts, and standard operational procedures providing guidance on electronic evidence handling and a digital forensic lab that meets international standards are lacking.
Funding and spending patterns of the General Procuracy of the Kyrgyz Republic (GP) have remained relatively invariable since Kyrgyzstan became an independent state in 1991. Stagnant funding has had negative implications for the GP, and the Prosecutors’ Training Center (PTC) requires support to train and retrain prosecutors in accordance with changing Kyrgyz legislation and international human rights standards. Additionally, gender inequalities within the GP remain a significant challenge.
Civil society in Ukraine is well organized and able to exert considerable influence, especially since the Maidan Revolution. It is widely agreed that targeted support for civil society organizations (CSOs) can amplify the success of reforms that strengthen the rule of law and eliminate corruption. With this is mind, we are working to empower CSOs to monitor and engage with the current reform processes in public administration, rule of law and justice sectors.
While acknowledging the importance of national reform efforts, our program in Ukraine emphasizes and assists regional reform initiatives. We are helping develop and implement the reform agenda launched in Odessa, in an effort to position the Black Sea region as Ukraine’s de facto anti-corruption capital.
In Ukraine, as in most eastern European states, the role of the Public Prosecutor is oversized in relation to the Judiciary and the rest of the legal community. The institution is historically prone to abuse of power and corruption, and skewed towards protecting the interests of the state over those of society or the individual. Regard for human rights is scant; fair trial standards are rarely applied. As a consequence, public dissatisfaction is rife. However, current political will to change the system has opened up an opportunity for meaningful reform.
Amid pressure to clean up public life in Kyrgyzstan, IDLO has helped draft a bill on conflict of interest. The challenge was both practical and political: Kyrgyzstan is a relatively small country with strong rural traditions, large, close-knit families, and a well-established culture of favors. The new law would ban any payment from interested parties, either in money or in kind, as well as gifts. This includes property, foreign travel or invitations to banquets, shows and sporting events.
Launched in March 2013 in partnership with the Afghan government, the Justice Training Transition Program (JTTP) offers justice professionals unprecedented levels of training in core legal skills and competencies. It provides continuing education courses on Afghan law to provincial courts, the Ministry of Justice and other government bodies. By far our most ambitious program anywhere, JTTP also provides criminal justice training and mentoring for Afghan prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and investigators.