Revisiting the Jakarta Principles: Strengthening Anti-Corruption Agencies Independence and Effectiveness

With deep appreciation to Putri Rahayu Wijayanti, Directorate of Fostering Networks Between Commissions and Institutions (Dit. PJKAKI), Corruption Eradication Commission of Republic of Indonesia (KPK RI), for sharing this information.
On 9 November 2017, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) of the Republic of Indonesia, Transparency International (TI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organised an event on Revisiting the Jakarta Principles. The discussion focused on assuring the independence and effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies as recognised in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The discussion acknowledged the challenges faced by anti-corruption agencies in many regions in delivering their mandate in fighting corruption, and the importance of anti-corruption agencies in delivering the implementation of the Convention and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Following is a summary of the discussion:

Vienna, 9 November 2017 – On this date, nearly one hundred participants at the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the Convention), including several heads of anti-corruption agencies from around the world, took part in a discussion organised by the Corruption Eradication Commission Indonesia, Transparency International, UNDP and UNODC on revisiting the Jakarta principles. The representative from France stressed the relevance of the Jakarta principles for its new anti-corruption agency, while the head of the anti-corruption agency from Burkina Faso explained how the Jakarta principles helped to remodel their agency, which led to a sharp increase in corruption investigations in the country.
The discussion focused on assuring the independence and effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies as recognised in Articles 6 and 36 in the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The discussion acknowledged the challenges faced by anti-corruption agencies in many regions in delivering their mandate in fighting corruption, the importance of anti-corruption agencies in delivering the implementation of the Convention and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Jakarta Principles--adopted five years ago at a meeting of heads of anti-corruption agencies and experts--recognises, among others, the need to protect the heads and employees of anti-corruption agencies, collaborate with other institutions, uphold the highest standards of integrity within their institutions, and communicate and engage regularly with external stakeholders to foster public support. These are all important to ensure that anti-corruption agencies can work properly and effectively.
In line with the Convention, States Parties should ensure the existence of well-resourced, independent and effective anti-corruption agencies free from undue influence in their jurisdictions. This is not to be seen as a privilege, but rather as a right of the people. This independence is particularly relevant for investigating and prosecuting high profile corruption cases.
The panel of the discussion recommended that all States parties use the Jakarta Principles as a guiding framework in defining the work of anti-corruption agencies and respect those principles at all times. The outcome of the discussion also highlighted the role of anti-corruption authorities, civil society organizations and international organisations, such as UNODC and UNDP, to advocate for the operationalisation of the Jakarta Principles. The participants also emphasized the importance of establishing mechanisms to enforce and monitor compliance with the Jakarta principles. They also suggested further clarifying the sixteen principles with further guidance on how to implement these principles in practice. The KPK Commissioner, Mr. Laode M Syarif, concluded the event stating: "Ultimately, the best protection of an anti-corruption agency is support from the public."

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