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Edited by Adam Graycar and Russell G. Smith
Chapter 16: The United Nations Convention Against Corruption
Matti Joutsen THE UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE One of the main purposes of the UN is ‘to create the conditions for stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly international relations, based on mutual respect, equality and self-determination’.1 Issues related to crime and criminal justice have been on the UN agenda since the outset, and the work on them has undergone considerable evolution over the years.2 At first, the focus was on the collection and exchange of information, research and the development of international standards and norms. This focus is understandable in the light of the membership of the UN. During the early years, the UN membership consisted predominantly of Western industrialized countries, and the persons who took part in the discussions were often practitioners, interested in trading ideas and good practice with their colleagues from other countries sharing the same immediate concerns. This sharing of ideas and good practice resulted in a large number of UN standards and norms, beginning with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1956). These standards and norms cover a broad range of criminal policy issues, from the independence of the judiciary, a code of conduct for law enforcement officials, the role of lawyers and the role of prosecutors, to the administration of juvenile justice, the treatment of victims of crime, and capital punishment. Another aspect of this early UN focus was that the focus was on socalled traditional offences and domestic concerns: juvenile...
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