U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


What are the main reasons for corruption within the justice sector and law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh?


To inform the design of a new justice sector reform project in Bangladesh with a focus on anti-corruption


1. Corruption in the judiciary and its causes
2. Corruption in law enforcement and its causes
3. References


The justice sector and law enforcement are consistently referred to as two of the most corrupt sectors in public administration in Bangladesh. Corruption in these sectors have severe detrimental consequences – it erodes the rule of law, denies citizens access to a fair trial, creates opportunities for unlawful detentions and other human rights violations, undermines economic and social development and fosters an environment of impunity.

This query focuses on the main components of the justice sector and law enforcement - judiciary and the police. Corruption in both these areas are rampant, their manifestations and causes are complex. This query examines the main causes of corruption in both these areas.

It finds that there are similar causes for corruption in both the judiciary and law enforcement. These include political influence, inadequate legal provisions against conflict of interest, unclear guidelines on appointments and transfers, poor implementation of laws, lack of transparency and access to information and inadequate accountability and disciplinary measures.

Lack of resources is also found to be a major cause for corruption. Inadequate salaries, poor working conditions, inadequate budgets, unreasonable work loads and lack of training opportunities all contribute towards eroding the morale and ethical standards of members of the judiciary and the police force and create incentives for corruption.


Farzana Nawaz, Transparency International, [email protected]


Gareth Sweeney, Transparency International, [email protected]




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