Article 11 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) establishes the decisive role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption. Judicial work on corruption can have a direct impact on whether the fight against corruption will succeed or fail. According to the 2021-2022 Anti-Corruption Assessment in Latin America, conducted by the Vance Center for International Justice, the groups mostly affected by acts of corruption are people living in poverty and traditionally discriminated groups. 

This discussion paper reviews and summarizes findings from a series of roundtable discussions with over 50 judges from Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico as part of the project “Judges as Peacebuilders”, organized by the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC), the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar Association, and the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). 

Key Recommendations from the Roundtable Discussions with Judges in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico 

1. Harmonize anti-corruption legislation with international standards to provide adequate legal tools to judges hearing corruption cases, including strengthening mechanisms to guarantee redress for corruption cases. 

2. Provide sufficient resources to enable judges to independently hear corruption cases, including providing physical and legal protection of judges in charge of high-profile corruption cases. Provide sufficient human and financial resources to complex corruption cases, new models of judicial training on corruption is needed, both for judges as well as other justice operators involved. 

3. Include integrity principles from the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct as an integral part of basic judicial training and include principles of ethics and integrity in trainings throughout the judicial career. 

4. Create and strengthen institutional capacity to address cases of corruption within the judiciary, including disciplinary systems, providing sufficient human and financial resources and taking appropriate measures to prevent the resources from becoming instruments for political use. 

The Discussion Paper is available in Spanish here.

Este documento de discusión está disponible en español en este enlace.