Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Background

The goal of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) anti-corruption and public integrity work is to contribute to host countries’ efforts to develop legal frameworks, institutions and capacity to prevent and sanction corruption, to encourage public integrity, and to foster accountability, transparency and public participation. ABA ROLI works with local counterparts to reform laws, to train prosecutors and judges, and to strengthen government bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to combat corruption and increase accountability. ABA ROLI assists governments and NGOs with developing, publicizing and refining their national anti-corruption strategies and action plans.

Our anti-corruption and public integrity work emphasizes the following five areas:

  1. Ethics and accountability
    Ethics codes help enforce strict standards for conduct and service delivery in the public sector. ABA ROLI has supported the drafting and enforcement of ethics codes for judges, lawyers, prosecutors and public officials. We provide judicial training, develop ethics curricula and offer assistance that facilitates judicial accountability. We also help develop legal ethics curricula for law students.
  2. Legislation
    Comprehensive anti-corruption legislation advances the rule of law and combats corruption. ABA ROLI helps national governments and NGOs assess and draft anti-corruption legislation and create appropriate bodies and practical mechanisms to implement anti-corruption efforts. We also support the drafting, monitoring, enforcement and public education of freedom of information laws.
  3. Anti-corruption strategies
    International cooperation is essential for combating trans-boundary corruption, for promoting national and regional cooperation and for sharing best practices. ABA ROLI supports multilateral cooperation through resource centers, advisory boards, peer reviews and capacity-building workshops. We also assist governments and NGOs with their anti-corruption strategies and action plans.
  4. Education and awareness
    ABA ROLI provides anti-corruption trainings, seminars and conferences in response to host government needs. As markets and financial sectors become more open, emerging democracies can be sources of and targets for money laundering, drug and arms smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism-related activity. ABA ROLI monitors these trends to develop effective training and programming to address corruption. Civil society groups now demand greater government accountability and transparency, and we strive to raise awareness through communications, civic education and advocacy.
  5. Assessments and analyses
    The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the central international framework in combating corruption. We have evaluated countries’ compliance with UNCAC, provided technical assistance to help synthesize domestic legislation with the convention and encouraged its ratification by non-signatory governments. ABA ROLI has also conducted in-depth analyses of anti-corruption legislation and policy to promote transparency and public integrity.