Does Immunity Lead to Impunity?

7 November 18:00 – 20:00

Session Description

Impunity arises from a failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations.

In many cases parliament members are exactly those who misuse their position to fill their own pockets and to gain more and more power and wealth – cynically also protected by their formal position as political players granting them immunity. Hence, those who make the rules also make sure to be able to escape them, and often enough use their position to dominate the economic life of the country.

The commissioner of Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will raise the issue on how complex it is to touch the untouchable people since all actors seem to protect one another (witnesses and suspects try to protect the real actor) resulting in cumbersome procedures not leading anywhere, especially for the control institutions. These experiences will also be enriched with the experiences of Mario Vinicius Claussen Spinelli, Secretary for Corruption Prevention, Comptroller’s General Office – CGU – Brazil. What approach had been made by the CGU to lift the immunity of parliamentarians under investigation. Monica Macovei who as former justice minister has lead the reform of the Romanian justice sector, he involved in corruption will share her opinion on ways to removal institutional protections for officials. Her current position as a member of the EU parliament will allow her to also consider the importance of as well as the challenges with immunities from the eyes of a legislator – both in terms of being a potential victim to prosecution (justified as well as politically motivated) and of setting the rules for lifting immunities. The member of the Indonesian parliament will be able to elaborate further on these questions as well as on the parliamentarian’s role to ensure fair and transparent governance

The workshop seeks to answer two of the conference working questions: How can we implement an integrated response to end impunity? What is our role to ensure political transitions lead to fair and transparent governments?

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