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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Secretary General Jagland to EF: Independent Monitoring = Key against Corruption of Judges

CoE Secretary General Jagland to EF: Independent Monitoring = Key against Corruption of Judges

Parašė ACM
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/
- Questioned by "Eurofora" about the Independence of Mechanisms to Monitor the Prevention or Eradication of Corruption risks among Judges, in order to maintain Citizens' Trust to their Integrity, CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland's Reply was sharp and concrete :


- "That is, indeed", one of the core Issues for Today's "European Conference of Judges", (organized by the "Consultative Council of European Judges" : CCEJ), he Started to say.

- In consequence, "they are" precisely "Discussing about that", Jagland anounced, pointing at an Exceptional CoE's Conference in Strasbourg, due to Draft a relevant Legal Opinion on that matter.


- And this is going-on "Right Now !", Jaglant stressed, concerning a Move expected to present CoE's competent Legal Expert's View on that Topical matter the soonest, "for 2018".


- For the rest, COE's Secretary General pointed at his own Speech, which had just Opened that Conference, particularly by mentioning current Risks of a "Populist Exploitation of (such eventual problems in) the Judiciary in the current Political Environment".

One among the various Examples of that Political "Exploitation", was offered, later-on, spontaneously by a Turkish Government representative, who Claimed that it was only an Alleged Sympathy of some Judges with that Strange, 6 Hours only long, "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, which would explain and justify the Massive Dissmissals, followed often also by Prosecutions, Arrests, and/or ImPrisonements, etc, of several Thousands of Judges in Turkey, (usually Accused to be "Gullenists", etc).


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- "It's exactly about what You just heard me tell and discuss in that Conference", went on to add, Later-on, speaking also to "Eurofora", the Experienced President of CoE's PanEuropean Anti-Corruption Watchdog, nick-named "GRECO", Marin Mrcela, who is also vice-President of Croatia's Supreme Court.

- President Mrcela, inter alia, had insisted, indeed, in his Address to CoE's Conference, Earlier this Morning, that, according also to some other CoE's relevant Legal Recommendations, each Country should have a "Council of Judges", with Most of its Members, "Not Appointed, but Elected", as he stressed, in order to deal with Monitoring Judges' career and behavior, etc.

Indeed, this is Part of the Proposals included in GRECO's latest Recommendation on "Judicial Integrity and Corruption", recently made according to its factual Findings after Checking the Current Situation in several CoE's Member States, (Comp., f.ex., among others, also, some relevant Critical Observations, Previously made to "Eurofora" by GRECO's President at : ..., etc)

+ "Transparency" is also another Key Word, for that same purpose, Mrcela went on to add, in this regard, inter alia.

=> But, "at Any case", Judges "should be Monitored by Independent Bodies", clearly stressed the experienced GRECO's President, (in accordance with "Eurofora"s query : Comp. Supra).

The Judicial branch has, apparently, been considered by the CoE as the Most Urgent to Address Nowadays, among a Wider Trilogy of "MPs, Prosecutors and Judges", which has been Examined, throughout all CoE's 47 Member States, during the Latest period of Monitoring by "GRECO", the overall Results of which, Together with Measures to "Prevent Corruption" in all those areas in the Future, is due to be Discussed during a 2 Days Conference, Later this Week, on Thursday and Friday (9-10/11/2017) in Prague, (Czech Republic).

 

(../..)


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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

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