Strasbourg, 01.07.2013 – In a report published today, the Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Group (GRECO) welcomes the progressive introduction of rules of conduct concerning the integrity of Members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors. It stresses, however, that much remains to be done to ensure the consistency and effectiveness of rules on the prevention of corruption.
GRECO supports the proposals to adopt a code of conduct for parliamentarians which would deal more effectively with such issues as gifts and other benefits granted to MPs, conflicts of interest and the declaration of income and assets. The current mechanism for the declaration of income and activities by parliamentarians, which is based the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, lacks effectiveness and is only taken seriously by parliamentarians to a variable degree. The future declaration system needs to provide for the publication of more precise data on the various elements of parliamentarians’ financial situations, as well as for effective sanctions in case of non-compliance.
A compendium of ethical rules was adopted for judges and prosecutors last May, which fills the gaps in respect of probity-related matters. GRECO nonetheless calls for greater consistency in statutory rules on the integrity of judges and prosecutors since for the time being, they cover only partially non-professional judges and prosecutors. Moreover, they do not cover all the courts homogeneously with a difficult interpretation for the public at large but also for the practitioners concerned.
GRECO also supports the creation of a judicial council and plans to make the prosecutors’ office more independent. The introduction of a court management policy, including periodic appraisal of judges and prosecutors by their superiors, would also contribute to limiting certain risks to the integrity of the judicial system.
The implementation of the 14 recommendations issued to Luxembourg will be assessed by GRECO in the first half of 2015.
Luxembourg and the Council of Europe