Our work on Judiciary

Filed under - Judiciary

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What’s at stake?

Either comprising only judges, or both judges, prosecutors and other officials, judiciary is perceived in most of the countries as the last remedy to inequalities, human rights violations and abuses against the most vulnerable.

But when judicial independence hides political interests or corruption, it ruins people`s lives and undermines democracy and rule of law.

To ensure a fair adjudication of each and every case, judiciary has to be independent, accountable and act with integrity.                                                                                                                                                                 

What we’re doing about it


We have identified 40 international documents setting over 110 standards and requirements for an independent, accountable and acting with integrity judiciary, and compiled them into a comprehensive document. We published the practical guide in August 2015 to serve as a reference framework to judicial officials and decision makers for consolidating integrity, where require. National civil society and international partners can equally use them as benchmarks against which to keep judiciaries accountable.


We have identified two typologies in judiciary`s failures to ensure justice for all. Those generated by systemic vulnerabilities that allow corruption to affect judiciary itself, and legal and practical gaps or loopholes that hinder the normal flow of corruption cases through prosecution and adjudication, leaving the afflicted with no answer.

To enhance knowledge, national research is undertaken to engage practitioners into identifying specific causes and formulate appropriate redress from inside the system. We look towards peer to peer engagement to enhance trust in judiciary and improve its performance.


Build on the existing and newly available knowledge we work together with our international, regional and national partners to scale up on the governments` and donors` agenda the importance of independent and accountable judiciaries to safeguard human rights, rule of law and democracy, and to curb corruption.

Who’s involved

  • The TI Integrity, Independence and Accountability of the Judiciary Initiative (TI Judiciary Initiative) is led, on behalf of the movement, by TI Romania who has played over the last 15 years a “constructively critical” role by pointing out weaknesses as well as pro-actively identifying potential solutions and developing instruments to help remedy the judicial vulnerabilities at national and regional level.
  • The Initiative works with the TI-Secretariat, a network of 10 core chapters from all the regions and an advisory board of reputable TI and non-TI international experts to advocate for an independent and free of corruption judiciary, through new partnerships and new tools made available.
  • We work with TI Chapters and other international partners and build of the existing initiatives, such as the Grand Corruption Campaign of TI; the IBA Judicial Integrity Initiative, the Judicial Integrity Group or the Anticorruption Programme of UNDP, the Rule of Law Unit of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights or the International Commission of Jurists to make judicial corruption a business case for practitioners, citizens and decision makers
  • We provide timely and tailored answers to judiciary-related queries from Transparency International's movement as well as our international partners.
  • We work with judicial officials, encouraging them to stand for the integrity of the judiciary and to demand for a change of attitude and practice from with the system
  • We work with civil society, anti-corruption and human rights defenders, think-tanks and grass roots organizations to make public scrutiny of the judiciary accessible to citizens and local communities.

Our approach

Corruption undermines justice and ruins lives in many parts of the world. However, we believe that engaging a diverse spectrum of actors – judicial practitioners, decision makers, international donors, civil society, the business community and regular citizens – to demand an independent and honest judiciary, we can break this vicious circle.

To build functioning judiciaries that can effectively limit the devastating impact of corruption a change of attitude and practice is needed. To achieve a sense of achievability and urgency:

  • We make new evidence and solutions available by facilitating the mapping, analysing and reporting of systemic failures that compromise the integrity, independence and accountability of the judiciary. This enhanced knowledge and new evidence will enable the proposal and adoption of concrete solutions that strengthen the integrity, independence and accountability of the judiciary.
  • We encourage donors and other international stakeholders’ to allocate financial and technical aid to justice sector reforms.
  • We support national governments, policy makers, key stakeholders within the judicial sector and relevant oversight agencies to adopt, monitor and enforce anti-corruption laws, standards and procedures
  • We “translating” findings that can at first appear technical and complicated – making them accessible to the public and a wider range of stakeholders.
  • We mobilize civil society organizations such as TI in representing their society’s interest by both acting as a watchdog and engaging as a ‘critical friend’.
  • We provide citizens with the adequate channels to hold the judiciary accountable for delivering justice and for sanctioning the corrupt. 

Timeline and results

  • August 2015: Launch of the Enhancing Judiciary’s Ability Corruption – a practical guide: https://www.transparency.org.ro/JudiciaryRaport.pdf  
  • 4th September 2015: participation to the Expert Meeting on Promoting Intergity in the Criminal Justice Chain organized by UNDP in Putrajaya Malaysia, and contributing to the report A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/democratic-governance/a-transparent-and-accountable-judiciary-to-deliver-justice-for-a.html
  • 1st October 2015: participation to the Norway Grants Expert seminar, Norwegian Courts Administration, October 1st 2015
  • 14 and 15 December 2015: 2015 Geneva Forum of Judges and Lawyers, organized by the International Commission of Jurists: http://www.icj.org/judicial-accountability-2015-geneva-forum-of-judges-lawyers/
  • 19-20 April 2016: participation to the Fighting the Hidden Tariff: Global Trade Without Corruption - New Horizons in Anti-Corruption: A Policy Symposium in preparation for the London 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit https://www.oecd.org/cleangovbiz/2016-Integrity-Forum_Agenda.pdf
  • 20 April 2016: Meeting of the OGP Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG): http://www.opengovpartnership.org/workplan-1
  • May 2016: review of the Judicial systems and Corruption – a Typologies Report of the International Bar Association Judicial Integrity Initiative and Basel Institute on Governance: http://www.ibanet.org/Document/Default.aspx?DocumentUid=f856e657-a4fc-4783-806e-6aac6895d37f.
  • 12-13 July 2016: participation to the Consultative Workshop Civil Society’s Role in Strengthening Judicial Independence and Accountability, organized by OSCE in Tbilisi; report to be launched
  • 1-4 December 2016: participation to the  International Anti-Corruption Conference, Panama City, Panama and hosting the workshop: Integrity pioneers and community solutions to combating judicial corruption, https://17iacc.sched.com/event/8SDR/integrity-pioneers-and-community-solutions-to-combating-judicial-corruption


Contact info:


Website: www.anticorruption-helpdesk.eu
Address:                 28-30 Bvd. Gen. Ghe. Magheru, 3nd floor, Sector 1, Bucuresti, 010044 - ROMANIA
Phone:                    +4 031 6606 000
Mail:                         office@transparency.org.ro

Victor Alistar

Director of the Integrity, Independence and Accountability of the Judiciary Programme, Transparency International; Executive Director, Transparency International Romania

Phone:                    +4 031 6606 001
Mobile:                   +4 072 1093 424
e-mail:                     victor.alistar@transparency.org.ro

Irina Lonean

Project coordinator
Phone:                    +4 031 6606 000
Mobile:                   +4 074 4367 079
e-mail:                     irina.lonean@transparency.org.ro

Country / Territory - Romania   
Region - Global   |   Europe and Central Asia   
Topic - Accountability   |   Civil society   |   Judiciary   |   Transparency International   
Tags - Judiciary   |   Justice   |   Romania   

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