On August 8, Kenya holds its general election to vote for the president along with senators, county governors and members of the national and county assemblies. While the 2007 Kenya elections saw much violence and unrest, the 2013 elections were relatively peaceful.
By transferring resources from public to private hands, corruption negates the benefits of development. Similarly, favoritism and nepotism are the antithesis of fairness and equality. It is no coincidence that the most corrupt polities are also the poorest, most unequal and most justice-deficient. If the rule of law and development are to take hold, good governance is a necessary condition.
For this reason, IDLO has undertaken to expand its portfolio of integrity-focused projects. Promoting good governance is an area so broad as to be almost inexhaustible. In our case, it may mean helping countries make the institutions of justice cleaner and more responsive; reducing conflict of interest in procurement and public life; seeking to ensure adequate funding for the judiciary; or strengthening the capacity to fight fraud and economic crime.
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.
To mark the successful conclusion of a project aimed at enhancing the capacity of prosecutors in the Philippines, 113 lawyers of the Office of the Ombudsman came together with members of the international community for a symposium in Manila on integrity and anti-corruption initiatives.
“It’s about building people’s confidence in the courts,” explained IDLO Director-General Irene Khan on the topic of why judicial independence matters. “What are the issues of independence, integrity, approach, principle, ethics that build people’s trust in the judiciary?”
HIGH-LEVEL PUBLIC EVENT
An independent judiciary is critical to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies as envisaged in Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As five African countries, including Kenya, gear up for elections later this year, IDLO’s Director-General, Irene Khan, visited Nairobi to support ongoing work in the country and met with officials to discuss electoral justice, good governance and gender equality.
Lessons Learned Brief - Avoiding Violence and Enhancing Legitimacy: Judicial Preparedness for Handling Electoral Disputes in Kenya and BeyondThe Brief (or Lessons Learned Brief), titled Avoiding Violence and Enhancing Legitimacy: Judicial Preparedness for Handling Electoral Disputes in Kenya and Beyond, explores IDLO’s support to the Kenyan judiciary to resolve electoral disputes. The 2007 electoral violence in Kenya demonstrated that disastrous consequences can follow when the electoral dispute resolution system is not trusted to deal fairly and efficiently with contested elections.