Independent Judiciary Requires Integrity Through Positive Actions Says Prof. PLO Lumumba

By: Christopher Wiah |

(May 9, 2024)-  “Achieving judicial independence is not merely a matter of institutional design. It requires a constant commitment to integrity and ethical conduct among judicial officers and court personnel”, Kenyan Lawyer and activist PLO Lumumba disclosed in a presentation at the ongoing African Regional Group meeting of the international Association of Judges conference in Liberia.

Prof. PLO Lumumba presented on the topic: Building integrity through positive actions: A means for ensuring an independent judiciary.

He stated that Judges must adhere to high ethical standards, uphold the rule of law, and maintain impartiality in their decision making.

He furthered that the methods used to appoint judges in any jurisdiction significantly impacts the independence and autonomy of our judiciaries.

“It is crucial to set and implement measures to ensure the appointment process are few from any influence that could hinder appointees from effectively performing their duties”. He said.

Prof. Lumumba noted that corruption and its perception diminish trust in the judiciary and undermine key judicial functions such as dispute resolution of property rights.

He laments that corruption also compromises the judiciary broader mandate in upholding citizen rights, maintaining the integrity of political processes, and holding representatives of others branches of government accountable for unlawful actions.

“When discussing judicial corruption, the typical perception involves judges accepting bribes. However, judicial corruption encompasses a broader spectrum: any form of undue influence that could compromise the impartiality of justice and may involves various actors within the justice system, including lawyers and administrative staff. Corruption is not solely about interactions between judicial personnel and court users but also extents dynamics within the judicial itself”.

In conclusion PLO Lumumba stated that by embracing positive actions that promote transparency, accountability, and fairness, judges can fortify the foundation of an independent judiciary-one that stands as a beacon of justice and upholds the rule of law without fear or favor.

“Integrity within the judiciary is not merely a goal but an ongoing journey that requires collective effort and commitment from stakeholders”. He noted.

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