The CEELI Institute is proud to have worked with judges from the Central and Eastern European Judicial Exchange Net- work to create “The Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of Justice: A Thematic Compilation of International Standards, Policies and Best Practices.”
The Manual – first conceptualized by the Network judges themselves – represents a systematic effort to survey relevant international standards applicable to the judiciary. The judges have undertaken a comprehensive review of more than 140 relevant international instruments, and organized the material according to thematic areas.
The Manual constitutes an easy-to-use reference tool to facilitate day-to-day work of judges both in the region and worldwide. It is particularly useful in societies still undergoing transitions, and where the judiciaries are still struggling to assert and establish their full inde- pendence. The Manual provides easily accessible, substantive legal support for issues related to the status, work, rights, and responsibilities of judges. It has proved useful to judges who are pushing back against governmental infringe- ments on their functions. For example, Section II of the Manual assembles all relevant international standards which establish and clarify the principle of judicial independence in the administration of justice. Judges needing to justify their role in administration can quickly access the necessary underlying legal support.
The Manual represents an extraordinary commitment of time and effort by the Network judges who participated in this project. They undertook extensive inde- pendent research and editing, coming together periodically at the Institute to coordinate and collaborate on their work. The Manual is a “living document” which is continually updated to incorpo- rate relevant new source material. The judicial exchange network project has been made possible through the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) at the U.S. Department of State. “In many parts of the world today, sufficient institutional safeguards are not in place to ensure the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Judges and court officials must continue to work to ensure greater respect for these core principles governing the judiciary. In that context, the Manual serves as an invaluable resource.“