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Impartiality of judges and prosecutors refers to their independence to make decisions in cases free

from interferences or considerations such as personal interests, undue influence from peers or political

actors, public pressure, fear of reprisals, concerns about career prospects, political affiliations, bribery

or other corruption-related issues



Impartiality requires fair, objective conduct by the judge or prosecutor. A judge or a prosecutor can

be independent, but not impartial, while in most cases the lack of independence leads to lack of

impartiality as well. Impartiality of the court also means the equal treatment of all persons before the

court, without discrimination on grounds such as gender, political affiliation, religion, race, colour,

national origin, caste, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and economic status,

and citizenship.




refers to the “behaviours and actions consistent with a set of moral or ethical principles

and standards, embraced by individuals as well as institutions that create a barrier to corruption”



It requires judges not to place themselves under any financial or other obligation to individuals or

organizations that might influence them in the performance of their duties. The integrity of a judge

derives from his or her conduct being above reproach and requires that justice is not only done, but

it is also seen to be done”



The integrity of the judiciary implies compliance with relevant legal provisions and, more specifically,

is characterized by three conditions: incorruptibility of decisions, abidance by the principles of

transparency and competitiveness, good management of courts with regards to economy, efficiency

and effectiveness




Accountability is the concept that individuals, agencies and organizations (public, private and civil

society) are held responsible for exerting their powers properly


. Judges and prosecutors must be

accountable for their conduct to appropriate institutions established to maintain judicial standards,

which are themselves independent and impartial. The judiciary must also be held accountable by the

media and public opinion. Judicial officials are not above the law. Judges’ decisions are subject to

appeal and review by higher courts.

Independence and accountability should be seen as the check and balance system of the judiciary

and considered as inseparable. If there is independence with no accountability, then discretionary

and abusive power can be exerted. But if there is accountability with no independence, there is no

due process. Therefore, the standards for accountability shall always be seen as instruments to

secure a fair independence.

16. See Value 2 of the Bangalore principles of Judicial Conduct

17. See Value 3 of the Bangalore principles of Judicial Conduct

18. Anti-corruption Plain Language Guide, Transparency International, July 2009, page 24

19. Art. 3.2 of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct

20. Transparency International Romania, Integrity Guide for the Management of the Judicial System, 2008, p. 19,

21. Anti-corruption Plain Language Guide, Transparency International, July 2009, page 2