07 Mar, 2022
Anti-Corruption Law Program Seminar: International Anti-Corruption Court: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Time: 9:00 — 11:00 am PDT
Join the Anti-Corruption Law Program on Wednesday, March 9 from 9:00-11:00 am PT for a panel discussion on the international anti-corruption court. How would such a court operate? Should Canada support this kind of international anti-corruption initiative?
Senior government officials in various countries have long been embezzling public money and other assets with impunity. Known as grand corruption, this activity makes petty bribery look like child’s play, thanks to the millions―and sometimes billions―of dollars stolen by these kleptocrats. Local prosecutors and judges are often unwilling or unable to lay charges or obtain convictions as they have been captured by the executive branch of their government, or because they are corrupt themselves. Sadly, few countries are immune to this scourge.
While numerous initiatives have been undertaken over the years to root out grand corruption, there is scant evidence that such crimes have in fact been curtailed. Instead, the opposite is more likely the case. Many commentators argue convincingly that grand corruption is actually on the rise, as attempts to stop the laundering of corrupt money and recover and repatriate stolen assets have not delivered the desired results.
Has the time come then, to approach the problem in a different way? Should Canada take a leadership role in creating a law enforcement institution that can effectively investigate, prosecute, convict, and sanction corrupt senior government officials?
In the mid-1990s the government of Canada led the development and implementation of a successful initiative to eliminate worldwide anti-personnel land mines, an initiative that resulted in the Ottawa Convention or Mine Ban Treaty. Can this historic example of successful Canadian leadership to create global support for the Ottawa Convention be replicated to combat kleptocracy through the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court? Could such an institution help reduce grand corruption, a crime which blocks sustainable development and deprives millions of citizens worldwide the opportunity to move out of poverty.
In Canada, both major political parties have publicly stated their support to move this policy agenda forward. In December 2021, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Melanie Joly, was mandated by the Prime Minister Trudeau to work “with international partners to help establish an International Anti-Corruption Court, to prevent corrupt officials and authoritarian governments from impeding development that should benefit their citizens.”
Should these clear signals be seized upon to find solutions to the vexing problem of grand corruption? We invite you to join our distinguished panel of internationally-recognized anti-corruption experts as they engage in a robust roundtable discussion on this topic, and field questions from the audience.
- Moderator – Hon. Roy Cullen, retired Canadian Member of Parliament and former Director of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC). He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
- Juanita Olaya Garcia is a Berlin-based lawyer and author who specializes in good governance practices, human rights and anti-corruption, and is a Member of the International Expert Panel for the Open Government Partnership.
- Hon. Peter MacKay, former Minister of Justice & Attorney General, Minister of National Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He is currently working as a Strategic Advisor with Deloitte Canada and is also with the Halifax law firm of McInnes Cooper.
- Hon. Allan Rock, former Minister of Justice & Attorney General, Minister of Health, Minister of Industry & Infrastructure, and Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. He is currently President Emeritus and a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.
- Matthew Stephenson, the Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, teaches anti-corruption law and conducts research on the application of positive political theory, particularly on anti-corruption.
Opening remarks by Joseph Weiler, Professor Emeritus at the Allard School of Law, Co-Director of the Anti-Corruption Law Program and Vice Chair of Transparency International Canada. Closing remarks by Dr. Carol Liao, Director of the Centre for Business Law, Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.
This webinar is part of the Anti-Corruption Law Program which is a joint continuing professional educational initiative of the Centre for Business Law, Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, Transparency International, Canada Chapter, and the Vancouver Anti-Corruption Institute at the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy.
This event qualifies for 2 CPD credits.
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash.