The fight against corruption is at the top of the agenda of many governments and international organizations and there are resounding calls for action to promote anti-corruption measures and implement policies that establish systems of good governance to prevent existing and future development efforts being undermined by corruption. That said, many of these initiatives and measures are in their infancy and require further strengthening and further development.
The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is a landmark instrument in combating corruption and provides a solid foundation for anti-corruption activity by strengthening anti-corruption policies, laws and enforcement mechanisms. Notwithstanding UNCAC weaknesses remain, particularly in relation to domestic and international coordination in areas such as law enforcement and prevention.
In line with UNCAC recommendations, some countries have started to establish bodies and professionals specialized in handling corruption. Some countries launched independent Anti-Corruption agencies and others integrated the obligations into state institutions including their prosecution agencies.
Established global platforms such as the International Association of Anticorruption Authorities (IAACA), OLAF and E-PAC involve the participation of prosecutors to some degree however such participation is generally not reflected within multi-national organizations and state institutions responsible for combating anti-corruption.
The prosecution of corruption cases requires specific legal expertise and the active participation of prosecutors in the fight against corruption is therefore inevitable. In the majority of jurisdictions it is the prosecutor who represents their state in any dispute with a corrupt official or organization.
Conscious of the pivotal role prosecutor’s play in the fight against corruption the IAP proposes the establishment of a Network of Anti-Corruption Prosecutors (NACP). Recognizing the diversity of anti-corruption systems, laws and processes the NCAP will assist in identifying areas of common interest and act as a bridge between prosecutors and other anti-corruption actors. NCAP will give prosecutors a global overview and access to the best practices, strategies and experts available and assist prosecutors and prosecution agencies to optimize current resources. NCAP will complement and seek to work in partnership with existing anti-corruption platforms.
As one of the pioneers of ‘best practice’ development in the anti-corruption field it is only natural that the IAP, the first and only global association of prosecutors, takes on an active and leading role in the fight against corruption.
The IAP Network of Anti-Corruption Prosecutors will provide a valuable global forum through which prosecutors can exchange experience, identify common challenges and share best practice. It aims to be the primary reference point for domestic and international agencies, forums and organizations seeking prosecutorial input in their initiatives, projects and events. The ambition is for the NACP to become an integral part of the international anti-corruption architecture.