Judges and courts are increasingly on the frontlines of democracy, upholding democratic principles and protecting the rule of law. At the same time, they are increasingly under attack by malign and corrupt actors seeking to manipulate judicial processes, destabilize democratic societies or protect individual interests. Fostering individual and institutional judicial integrity and independence is crucial to preserve strong, trustworthy justice systems and to protect the rule of law. IFES supports an incremental, judiciary-owned approach that fosters transformations to ensure judicial independence, impartial behavior and integrity in practice, not just in law. Peer to peer judicial engagement is important to provide judges with support as their independence is threatened. This should be coupled with institutional checks and balances, ethics mechanisms and transparent disciplinary proceedings that are both effective and sustainable.
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