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Tackling Corruption: reinforcing the rule of law

The Commonwealth Secretariat guides countries on the legal and technical aspects of implementing an anti-corruption strategy.

We have pioneered legislative tools and training for law-makers, police, prosecutors and judges to support the efforts of criminal justice systems to crack down on corruption.

Our work in this area is guided by the Framework for Commonwealth Principles on Promoting Good Governance and Combating Corruption, developed in 2000, and supports the enforcement of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which was signed in 2003.

“We are committed to ensuring effective implementation of legal frameworks and policies for the fight against corruption and the recovery of proceeds of corruption” - Shadrach Haruna, Legal Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat

Technical and Legislative Guide

A Commonwealth Legislative and Technical Guide was approved by the Commonwealth Law Ministers in 2011 to assist member countries in implementing legislation on anti-corruption. The guide is a collation of best practice which provides a comprehensive point of reference for countries wishing to implement the UN Global Convention Against Corruption.

Model Law on Integrity in Public Life

The Commonwealth’s Model Law on Integrity in Public Life provides for government ministers and public officials to abide by codes of conduct and make written declarations of interest. It details offences constituting abuse of office, misconduct and neglect of duty and lays out guidance for establishing an Integrity Commission covering its composition, functions and powers.                                                                       

Mauritius’ recent Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Act, which sets up an integrity commission to receive petitions and recover illicit assets, was implemented in accordance with the model law.

Commonwealth mentoring scheme

We facilitate the short-term placement of criminal justice officials needing training in any specialised areas of practice through a Commonwealth mentoring scheme.

The scheme is aimed at enhancing capacity and promoting high standards in the administration of justice in Commonwealth jurisdictions. Recent beneficiaries include:

  • Samoa - three prosecutors from the National Prosecution Office in Samoa were placed with the Director of Public Prosecutions office in New South Wales, Australia
  • Uganda - Two Uganda Prosecutors were placed in South Africa’s Assets Forfeiture Unit for three weeks to acquire practical experience in the recovery and administration of forfeited illicit assets.
  • Sri Lanka - two prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General in Sri Lanka were placed for three weeks in the Office of the Attorney General of Australia.
  • Nigeria - two Nigerian Prosecutors were placed in South Africa’s Assets Forfeiture Unit for three weeks to acquire experience in forfeited asset recovery and administration. 

Our anti-corruption work also encompasses: