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There can’t be change in absence of strong judicial systems – ex-Canada CJ

CANADA’S 17th Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin has said change cannot happen in a country that lacks a strong judicial system.

And Intentional Press Institute executive director Barbara Trionfi believes good governance is central to preventing corruption and the rise of undemocratic regimes.

McLachlin, a jurist and lawyer who served as Canada’s Chief Justice for 17 years (2000-2017), said during a plenary session at the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, that public trust in the judiciary is a key ingredient for strong judicial systems.

“The public has to trust the judiciary…in Canada, we believe in strong judicial complaints procedures. If a judge has done a wrong thing, it could be corruption, or insensitivity, we must allow citizens to lodge complaints. It’s a delicate business (but) let citizen complain and deal with their complaints effectively. If there’s no strong judicial system, nothing will change,” McLachlin said. “…Letting journalists, activists and citizens complain without being intimidated will make a difference.”

We must have this expectation from the public that if there’s corruption, it will be exposed, she said, adding, “We can do everything possible to maintain integrity.”

“We have to protect those citizens that speak up against corruption,” said McLachlin.

And Trionfi said: “Let’s not forget that the corrupt are a minority. So how do we build, knowing that most people have good intentions?”

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