Courts given extended corruption guards

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe have agreed an extension of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption which should protect judges and jurors across Europe from corruption by their national governments in all legal cases

This body, which is in-dependent of the EU, includes eastern as well as western European countries, notably Russia. Its member countries have a political commitment to introduce national laws reflecting its ratified conventions. The corruption convention, which already protects judges working in criminal courts, will now cover judges and other legal arbiters in commercial, civil and other matters, as well as jurors.

The convention requires that member countries establish, as criminal offences, the active and passive bribery of domestic and foreign arbitrators and jurors. The extended protocol will be opened for signature on 15 May and will enter into force after being ratified by five member countries.