Judicial corruption fuels impunity, corrodes rule of law, says Transparency International report
French language version of Global Corruption Report launched in Cameroon
Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
Corruption is undermining judicial systems around the world, denying citizens access to justice and the basic human right to a fair and impartial trial, sometimes even to a trial at all, according to the Global Corruption Report 2007: Corruption in Judicial Systems, the French-language edition of which was issued today in Yaoundé, Cameroon, by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.
“Everyone loses when justice is corrupted, in particular the poor, who are forced to pay bribes they cannot afford,” affirms Maitre Charles Nguini, President of TI Cameroon. “Fighting judicial corruption means an end to impunity for the corrupt.”
Judicial corruption: citizens are the victims
Judicial corruption usually falls into two categories: political interference in the judicial process by the legislative or executive branch, and bribery. Those with least means are hit hardest as they can least afford to pay bribes and have the fewest alternatives.
In Africa, perceptions of judicial corruption are discouraging: in seven out of eight African countries covered by TI’s Global Corruption Barometer, a survey of public perceptions of corruption in different domestic institutions, a majority of respondents perceive the judicial system to be corrupt; Cameroon tops the list with more than 80% of citizens perceiving the judiciary as corrupt. Among African countries surveyed an average of one respondent in five who had contact with the judicial system reported having paid a bribe.
Petty bribery and political influence in the judiciary erode social cohesion: one system for the rich and another for the poor fractures communities. “Bribery not only puts justice out of the reach of ordinary people and compromises the impartiality of judges; it also undermines the justice system’s role as a check on power that promotes accountability. The judiciary must be a force against corruption, not the source of it”, said Casey Kelso, TI Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East.
Features of the Global Corruption Report 2007
The French-language version of TI’s Global Corruption Report 2007 includes: comparative analyses of corruption with a special focus on the judiciary; eleven country reports from francophone countries; and a section reviewing recent developments in corruption research. The report examines how, why and where corruption interrupts judicial processes and provides concrete suggestions on reforms and remedies.
Transparency International’s work on judicial corruption
Many African national chapters of TI have been engaged in advocating for increased transparency in the judicial sector for some time. Chapters in Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Madagascar, and Morocco have pushed for more judicial personnel and a better handling of recruitment, training, salaries and promotion.
The French-language version of the Global Corruption Report 2007 has been made possible in part through the generous support of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.
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