IAWJ Webinar: Strengthening Judicial Integrity against Corruption
On December 9th, IAWJ hosted a webinar, in the context of the UN International Day against Corruption. The webinar was entitled: “Strengthening Judicial Integrity against Corruption”. Our panel was constituted of judges from different regions of the world. The panelists were:
- Dr. Claudia Escobar, PhD (Moderator), Retired Judge, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Schar School of Policy and Government, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACCC)
- Hon. Judge Iris Yasminn Barrios Aguilar, President Judge of the First Court of Criminal Judgement, Drug Activity and Crimes Against the Environment of Guatemala.
- Hon. Justice Amina Aliyu, High Court of Justice of Kano, Nigeria
- Hon. Judge Samaranda Nassar, First Investigative Judge for North Lebanon
Judge Barrios was the first one to express herself. She offered a definition of corruption and provided vivid testimonies about the situation in her country, Guatemala, from where judges, sometime, had to flee due to threats. She notably characterized corruption as a Cancer that requires strong will to be cured.
Judge Nassar on her part shared actions that she has been taken in Lebanon to fight corruption. New laws were adopted such as the law on money laundering, the act on illicit enrichments, the banking secrecy act and many more. In addition, Judge Nassar explained how the experience of online investigation helped to create an electronic system that protects investigations from possible corruption, especially during the preliminary phase. From the experience in her court, electronic litigation seems to be the shortest way to an anticorruption system especially in the judiciary.
Justice Aliyu concluded the panel presentations talking about the problems women judges/justices face with regards to the fight against corruption in the Nigerian judicial system. There are a lot of pressures brought on them even by family members, colleagues and sometimes persons unknown, to not take risks by fighting corruption. Therefore, sometime judges could become victims of corrupt practices without being aware. For Justice Aliyu, “the oath of office and allegiance taken by each of us at the time of being sworn in as Judge must always be at the back of our minds in the discharge of our duties”.
IAWJ has been working to support and empower judges and justice sector actors in their fight against corruption and impunity while defending judicial independence. Therefore, this webinar was a wonderful opportunity to further gather support for this cause in our community.
Watch the webinar here.