Under the heading of “Restoring Trust: Global Action for Transparency,” more that 1,200 anti-corruption experts converged in Bangkok, Thailand for the International Anti-Corruption Conference in mid-November 2010. PTF held a special workshop, moderated by PTF Chair, Anabel Cruz. The session provided four of PTF’s civil society partners the opportunity to discuss their work and their PTF-assisted projects.
The fascinating aspect of each of the presentations rested in the determination evident from each of the presenters to use civil society organizations to fundamentally strengthen anti-corruption initiatives and, in the process, mobilize significant public support. Sheer hard work, often frustrating at times, has enabled Korugyendo Joseline and her colleagues in Uganda to forge relationships with the police, strengthen ties of understanding between the police and the communities they serve and so reduce extortion and public fear of police corruption. Her story, like the others discussed in the workshop, is a remarkable one.
Sylvia N. Mukasa , Executive Director, The Uganda Law Society, was succinct and effective in describing the work of her organization. She highlighted a PTF0-supported project that is going well and that has had five key objectives:
- Identify gaps in current anti-corruption laws and regulations and suggest solutions to inform legislative reform;
- Identify ways in which the legal profession can promote good governance;
- Monitor the proceedings of the new Anti-Corruption Court (ACC) and to provide technical assistance at the bar;
- Constitute a multi-stakeholder Legal Experts Committee (LEC) to provide technical legal assistance to existing anti-corruption initiatives; and
- Catalogue and document developments within the anti-corruption arena at national, regional and international forums to benefit from best practices.
As Ezequiel Nino told the workshop, “Corruption in Argentina and, broadly speaking, in Latin America remains a serious structural problem that not only adversely affects the region’s economic and democratic development, but also places a direct burden on the population. Corruption has a very strong root in society as a whole.”
The project that his organization, ACIJ, is promoting has far-reaching impact. As he noted, “ACIJ has been working to break the silence around investigations related to corruption crimes in Argentina. ACIJ´s work in corruption has garnered much national attention and has brought to debate issues of corruption that had hitherto been absent from public attention. The procedural code of Argentina includes two key rulings related to this theme: the first stating that files in corruption cases are not to be disclosed to third parties, and the second which guarantees the right to solicit and receive copies and reports related to matters constituting ´legitimate interest´.”
Sukhee Dugersuren noted on the Mongolian project that it highlighted many aspects of political and judicial life in the country. The presenter concluded with some interesting “lessons learned,” including:-
We have learnt the following:
- The training program called “Preventing corruption in judicial systems” was lead by the judges’ peers. This contributed not only to the quality of the trainings but to efficiency, as well. The information provided by these trainers in legal language was precise and digestible by attendees, helped the training sessions run smoothly. Participants of the trainings have expressed gratitude to (Transparency International –Mongolia) TI-M, in hiring well-known and respected judges to undertake these trainings, which improved both delivery and absorbing of messages.
- Impact of these anti-corruption trainings was multiple and strong, as the trainings were co-organized by the General Council of the Courts. This also made clear to all participants that the management of the courts was already strongly committed to take relevant actions against wrongdoings by judges and court workers.
- Initiating projects involving multi-stakeholder participation, the GCC, CCAC, MECS, MAJ and law schools and providing media coverage helped raise debate over the issues concerned.
- Literature analyzing corruption in this sector, published in Mongolian, and disseminated to participants and libraries of law schools provided opportunity for research works by experts, students, judges and court workers.
- Due to public pressure the newly elect President requested resignation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This forced TI-M to refrain from implementing certain activities initially proposed under this project. We have learnt that it was very important for us to be very flexible and provide options should such problems occur in future. Despite this problem, the funding organizations’ monitoring advisor found that the projects were very successfully implemented.
Download the full reports via the links below:
Laws are not Enough: Citizens Against Corruption in Police and Judicial Institutions. Police Community Partnership Forum
Korugyendo Joseline, Head Programs, National Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights in Uganda (NAFODU).
Prevention of Corruption in the Judiciary: Increasing involvement and awareness in the legal profession on anti-corruption issues in Uganda
Sylvia N. Mukasa , Executive Director, The Uganda Law Society (ULS)
Anti-corruption Training on Preventing Corruption in Public Procurement and Judicial Systems (for judges) and Improvement of the Judicial Code of Ethics
Sukhee Dugersuren, Executive Director, Transparency International – Mongolia
Ezequiel Nino, Co-Director, Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)