International measures in line with Convention against Corruption

An innovative feature of the United Nations Convention against Corruption is that it envisions a mechanism for the review of its own implementation. A third conference of member states in 2009 drew on Paragraph 7 of Article 63 of the convention to approve the terms of reference and guidelines of the mechanism. The Islamic Republic of Iran actively participated in the event.

Under the mechanism in question, implementation of the provisions of the convention by each member state is reviewed by experts of another two. The 2009 conference decided that the reviews be implemented in two five-year periods, with the first one (2010-2014) dealing with the implementation of Chapter III (Criminalization and Law Enforcement) and Chapter IV (International Cooperation) and the second period (2015-2019) focusing on Chapter II (Preventive Measures) and Chapter V (Asset Recovery). 

In either period, each state is reviewed at least once and at most three times. A drawing put the Islamic Republic of Iran along with Paraguay in charge of reviewing Bangladesh in 2011-2012, and Iran was to be reviewed by experts from Indonesia and Belarus. And in an intergovernmental conference in June 2013, Iran and the Seychelles were tapped to review the implementation by Lebanon of Chapters III and IV. 

1. Bangladesh Review
The drawing which took place in June 2010 teamed the Islamic Republic of Iran and Paraguay to review Bangladesh. The first videoconference involving the experts of the two reviewing countries and the national authority of Bangladesh was held in December 2010. In January-February 2011, Bangladesh presented a comprehensive self-assessment checklist to state experts of the two reviewing countries.
At the request of Paraguay, the Iranian team agreed to look into the answers provided by Bangladesh in connection with Chapter III (Criminalization and Law Enforcement) of the Convention in the self-assessment checklist, and Paraguay took up the questions that had to do with Chapter IV (International Cooperation). Of course, it was agreed that the viewpoints of the Iranian expert team be conveyed to the Paraguayan side and be reflected in the country report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The judicial system of Bangladesh is based on common law which is a legacy of the British colonization of India. Although heavily amended over the years, Bangladesh's Penal Code of 1860 and criminal justice system are rife with legal vacuums when it comes to compatibility with commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption.
The Iranian experts put forth recommendations to fill those legal vacuums, which were welcomed by the Bangladeshi officials so much so that after the field inspection of April 2011, several bills were drafted and presented to the Bangladeshi parliament for approval.
The final review report was presented – in three volumes – to the then Justice Minister Morteza Bakhtiari in August 2011. It should be noted that although the Bangladesh review was the first experience of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this area, it was praised by the UNODC for content and exactitude in identifying the challenges. A summary of the country report was released as a UN document in the 30 days to November 20, 2012.
During the field inspection, meetings were held with the Bangladeshi minister of law and justice (who led the national authority for the Convention against Corruption in Bangladesh), attorney general, experts with the high council of supervision and improvement of administrative health, management and parliamentary oversight division, the minister of economy, the Central Bank governor, the minister of public works, the deputy interior minister, the foreign minister and representatives of two NGOs involved in the fight against corruption.
2. Review of the Islamic Republic of Iran
A drawing at a June 2011 meeting of the intergovernmental committee chose experts from Indonesia and Belarus to review the Islamic Republic of Iran. This selection set the review of our country in motion.
In light of the fact that the national authority knew in advance that a review would take place in 2011, preliminary measures and preparations for the review got underway in 2010. As part of those preparations, members of faculty and experts were called upon to review the legal loopholes, prepare a draft bill to close those loopholes, and draft a self-assessment questionnaire. Members of a supervisory panel bringing together the experts of the national authority were also named.
Results of scientific research, comparative studies and legal analyses added up to 1,000 pages which have been proposed to be released in four volumes.
To put together a self-assessment questionnaire and draft bills to be presented to the Cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Iran, close to 200 sessions were held at the International Department. University professors, outside experts and experts of the department – and representatives of relevant bodies, when necessary – attended these sessions.
These measures eventually produced a self-assessment questionnaire (more than 400 pages long), two draft bills (almost 100 articles in total) and a 1,000 page comparative-analytical report. On the back of these efforts, officials with the secretariat of the convention repeatedly praised the high quality of the questionnaire.
In should be noted that in the review process, laws, regulations, circulars, instructions and legal precedents taken into account by the courts were examined in terms of compatibility or lack thereof with the provisions of the convention. And relevant bodies were approached to provide all the necessary figures and data (both general and particular) to be used in filling out the self-assessment questionnaire.
Since the foreign experts' knowledge of the achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran in fighting corruption was important, after coordination with appropriate bodies, the Indonesian and Belorussian experts as well as those of the convention secretariat were allowed to visit Iran (May 18-23) to meet with officials as well as experts working for institutions involved in the fight against corruption.
It should be noted that the meetings in question were arranged in a way that made it possible for the reviewing delegation to learn about the measures taken by oversight, executive and judicial bodies, when it came to the fight against corruption, as well as about the country's overall achievements in this field.
They were also given a chance to compare notes with the representatives of institutions and senior officials – of all three branches of government – heavily involved in the fight against corruption, including the Inspectorate General, the judicial complex dedicated to the fight against corruption, the Supreme Audit Court, a member of parliament's Article 90 Committee, a representative of the anti-corruption coordination headquarters, the head of the administrative health office of the Management Development and Human Resources Division of the Presidential Office, Interpol Iran, the Auditing Organization and, among non-governmental entities, with representatives of Tehran Municipality and Tadbir Eghtesad Institute and the auditing and accounting associations.
At these meetings, the representatives of the institutions in question first presented reports – in the form of slides – on their performance regarding their most important responsibilities in the combat against corruption. Then they fielded the questions asked by the reviewing delegation.
When the field inspection was over, the reviewing experts prepared a preliminary report (blueprint) on the measures taken to make the legal system of the Islamic Republic of Iran compatible with Chapter III and IV of the United Nations Convention against Corruption as well as on challenges, obstacles and the achievements of the country when it came to criminalization and international cooperation.
Then experts with the national authority reviewed the blueprint and made amendments. After the approval of the Iranian national authority was secured, an executive summary of the report was released.
3. Lebanon Review
In a June 2013 drawing, the Islamic Republic of Iran was chosen to review Lebanon and Libya. In light of the workload of the national authority, the Islamic Republic of Iran agreed only to review Lebanon. The Seychelles was chosen as the second reviewer.
A telephone conference by the UNODC decided that Iran review the implementation by Lebanon of Chapter III (criminalization) and the Seychelles conduct the review of Chapter IV (international cooperation).
When the review of Lebanon's self-assessment checklist by Iranian experts was completed, a field inspection was scheduled for December 2014.

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