Demanding change and holding people in authority responsible have traditionally been accomplished via protests. However, the effectiveness of demonstrations is less clear when it comes to eliminating corruption and political influence in Nepal’s court.
While demonstrations may increase public awareness and put pressure on the government to confront judicial corruption, these problems are rooted deeply and are hard to resolve. The chief justice’s appointment has been delayed, and the Nepal Bar Association has protested this. The Nepal Bar Association, in particular, has been critical of the court in Nepal over persistent problems including corruption and political interference. However, have they yet to have any effect?
The influence of demonstrations
Protests have historically resulted in important social and political change. Protests have been a potent tool for advancing social justice, human rights, and democracy, from the American civil rights movement to the Arab Spring in the Middle East. Protests may increase public awareness of judicial corruption and political influence while also putting pressure on authorities to act. When this pressure is maintained and supported by a large coalition of civil society organizations and other stakeholders, it may be very successful.
Massive earthquake that rocked Nepal in 2015 left the country devastated and exposed significant corruption in the way aid was given out. Civil society organizations organized demonstrations and public campaigns to demand that the Nepali court conduct an impartial inquiry into corruption and punish those involved accountable. Following these demonstrations, the Supreme Court issued an order for the government to look into and punish individuals involved in the corruption.
Civil society organizations in Nepal organized demonstrations and public campaigns in 2020 to demand judicial reform, accountability, and the creation of an independent judicial body to supervise the hiring, promoting, and disciplining of judges. A judicial commission was established as a result of the demonstrations, and it has the authority to look into and punish judges who are suspected of wrongdoing or corruption. More instances of demonstrations successfully changing the courts may be found in Nepal.
The difficulties of eliminating judicial corruption
Even though demonstrations have the ability to increase awareness and put pressure on the government to address judicial corruption, really eliminating the issue is more easier said than done.
In Nepal’s court, political interference and institutional corruption are pervasive problems that need for more than simply public pressure to be resolved. They often arise from a lack of judicial independence, a lax legal system, and an atmosphere of impunity that permits individuals in positions of authority to behave illegally. Protest movements alone won’t be enough to solve these problems; we also need institutional adjustments, judicial reforms, and a stronger commitment to independence and transparency.
Making the selection process of constitutional institutions free of political interference is a significant step toward eliminating corruption from Nepal’s judicial system. Countries must also take particular actions to prevent judicial corruption, including enhancing judicial independence, enhancing openness and accountability, fostering public confidence, and putting anti-corruption measures like codes of conduct and whistleblower protections into place.
Protests’ effects on judicial reform
While demonstrations may force government officials to confront corruption and political interference in Nepal’s courts, their success is not always assured. The degree of public support, the power of civil society organizations, the capacity to use media attention, and the readiness of authorities to heed demonstrators’ requests are only a few of the variables that influence the success of protest movements.
Protests have sometimes been effective in advancing judicial change and accountability, as shown in Brazil’s Car Wash probe. In other instances, demonstrations have failed to effect change or even sparked hostility against activists and civil society organizations. Protests may be a part of a larger reform process that also involves the media and other stakeholders, albeit they do not necessarily ensure that the system can be changed.
However, the move done by the Nepal Bar Association is ideal at this time since it puts pressure on the government to quickly decide whether to select the chief justice, who would lead the country’s judiciary.
the function of media and international organizations
In addition to demonstrations, media coverage and foreign organizations can help Nepal’s court become independent and fight corruption. While media attention may increase awareness and put pressure on authorities to act, international organizations can provide technical support and promote best practices.
Media coverage of judicial misconduct and corruption cases may draw attention to these issues and assist to uncover them. Investigative reporting may help reveal systemic problems and hold people in charge accountable. For instance, Operation Car Wash, a media-driven probe exposing high-level corruption in business and government, led to the conviction of several politicians and executives in Brazil.
International agencies like the World Bank and the United Nations may help nations fight judicial corruption by offering assistance and advice. They may help nations develop their legal systems and eradicate corrupt practices by offering technical support, training, and best practices. For instance, the UNODC has created tools and recommendations to assist nations in preventing and combating judicial corruption.
In conclusion, there are many different ways that demonstrations in Nepal might affect political power and corruption inside the court. They may be an effective strategy for increasing public awareness and applying pressure on authorities, but they cannot solve these systemic problems on their own. The judiciary’s independence and accountability must be strengthened, institutional improvements made, and legislative reforms implemented in order to effectively address these issues.