International Development Law Organization

UNGASS 2021 - Rule of Law and the Judiciary in Realizing the UNGASS Promise

EVENT | June 1, 2021 | 16:00 - 17:00 Rome | 10:00 - 11:00 New York

Rule of Law and the Judicary in Realizing the UNGASS Promise

Side Event organized by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Italian Presidency of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG).

The importance of strengthening the independence, transparency and integrity of the judiciary as crucial elements of the rule of law in the fight against corruption has received prominence in the preparatory process leading up to the anticipated adoption of the Political Declaration against Corruption at the UNGASS in June 2021.

The central role of an independent, transparent, and accountable judiciary in curbing corruption is widely recognized. Even the most professional, state-of-the art, and efficient processes of corruption detection and investigation lose their significance if the judiciary cannot be counted on in properly adjudicating these cases. Corruption within the judiciary itself undermines the entire justice chain, precluding access to justice, violating fundamental human rights, and corroding the very foundations of the rule of law. This importance of ensuring integrity of the judiciary in respect of combating corruption is enshrined in Article 11(1) of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It is also recognized under SDG16’s targets on developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions (16.6), and promoting the rule of law and ensuring equal access to justice for all (16.3). And yet, judicial integrity remains a challenge globally. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, judiciaries were among the institutions most plagued by corruption. The importance of maintaining the independence of the judiciary, even in a time of public emergency, has been emphasized by many.

The UNGASS Political Declaration notes the importance of transparency, integrity and independence of the judiciary, judicial capacity and cooperation throughout the document. The goal of the event will be to bring together leading experts on the role of the judiciary in anti-corruption to discuss the key challenges and inputs required for realizing successfully the judiciary’s central role in combating corruption, including with respect to building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Outcomes will include: (1) highlighting main challenges on the road towards more independent and transparent judiciaries, and strategies for overcoming them; (2) sharing innovative and forward-looking ideas; and (3) advancing a multilateral commitment among UN member states and other key stakeholders for ensuring judicial independence, transparency, and integrity.

The event will engage experts from developing and developed countries and international organizations in a focussed discussion on the role of the judiciary and the Rule of Law in combating corruption, including the key inputs required to advance judicial independence, transparency and integrity.




  • Ms. Jan Beagle, Director-General, IDLO


  • Mr. Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini, Magistrate-Legal Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Directorate General for Global Affairs, Head of the Italian Task Force, G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group
  • Mr. Diego Garcia-Sayan, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Hon. Judy Omange, Registrar of the High Court of Kenya
  • Sir Anthony Hooper, PC,  Lord Justice of Appeal, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (retired), Honorary Professor, University College, London. Honorary Fellow, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Member, Matrix Chambers


UNGASS Preparatory Process
Statement to the Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on the Preparations for the Special Session of the General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS) 7 May,...
Statement to the 3rd Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on Preparations for the Special Session of the General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS) 22-...
Statement to the Second Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption on the Preparations for the Special Session of the General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS) 19-20 November, 2020...
United Nations Headquarters, New York 2-4 June 2021 The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) through Resolution 73/191 entitled “Special session of the General Assembly against corruption” decided to convene a special session on...
International Anti-corruption Day With its profound negative impact on rule of law, good governance, and human rights, corruption threatens peace and security, hampers the provision of public services, and thwarts inclusive economic development,...



IDLO's work on Anti-Corruption

IDLO is working to combat all forms of corruption by making justice institutions more responsive, reducing conflicts of interest in procurement and public life, and enhancing the capacity of institutions and justice actors.

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Public trust and confidence in justice sector institutions is key to investment and commercial transactions, and necessary for sustainable development and social change.

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