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Anti-corruption court legislation for 27 countries


Anti-corruption court legislation for 27 countries

An increasing number of countries have a special judicial body that has a substantial focus on corruption-related cases. Find out more each specialised anti-corruption court worldwide.
6 December 2022

Note that U4 does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the documents or the quality of translations into English. Please contact Sofie Schütte if you notice incorrect or out-of-date information.

Specialised anti-corruption courts

Specialised anti-corruption courts: Albania, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Croatia, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

Collection in chronological order

Philippines (1979)

The Constitution, which passed in 1973, created the court (called the Sandiganbayan). On June 11, 1978, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1486, creating the Sandiganbayan as a court of first instance. He then issued Presidential Decree No. 1606, which elevated it to a Court of Appeals.

Pakistan (1999)

Pakistan’s anti-corruption courts are in the form of several Accountability Courts. They were set up through the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance.

Indonesia (2002)

Indonesia’s Special Court for Corruption Crimes was first set up by Law 30 of 2002 on the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission. The current court was established in 2009 by Law 46 of 2009 on the Court of Criminal Acts of Corruption.

Nepal (2002)

Nepal’s anti-corruption court, the Special Court, was established in 2002 by the Special Court Act.

Kenya (2003)

The 2003 Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act set up a system for trying offenses that fall under the Act. These were supplemented by Practice Directions by the Chief Justice in December 2015 (Gazette Notice No 9123).

Bangladesh (2004)

Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission Act created both an Anti-Corruption Commission and the anti-corruption court system.

Burundi (2006)

The anti-corruption courts were set up by Law N° 1/36 of 13 December 2006 (in French) – Formation of the Anti-Corruption Court. The law also incorporates Articles 15–28 and 42–72 of Law N° 1/12 of 18 April 2006 (in French) – Measures for the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption and Related Offenses.

Montenegro (2008)

The jurisdiction over organised crime, corruption, terrorism, and war crimes cases was centralised in the Special Department of the High Court in Podgorica on 20 March 2015, with the entering into force of the revised Law on Courts.

The Special Department of the High Court in Podgorica had already existed before the reform, alongside anther Special Department of the High Court of Bijelo Polje that had the same substantive scope of jurisdiction. Both departments started operations on 1 September 2008. The Special Department in Bijelo Polje was abolished in 2015.

North Macedonia (2008)

The Specialized Department of the Basic Court Skopje I – Skopje was established by Article 2 of Amendment 35/2008 of the Law on Courts. Since 2019, the legal basis of the Special Department is Article 32(1) of the Law on Courts.

Croatia (2008/2010)

Croatia’s Court Departments for Criminal Cases in Jurisdiction of USKOK was announced in 2008, but the authorising legislation, the Courts Act, was not passed until 2010.

Uganda (2008)

The principal judge of the Uganda High Court created the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) as an administrative section of the High Court in 2008 through the High Court (Anti-Corruption Division) Practice Direction, Legal Notice No. 9/2009. The chief justice formally established the permanent ACD in 2009 by invoking article 133(1)(b) of the Constitution, which states that “the Chief Justice . . . may issue orders and directions to the courts necessary for the proper and efficient administration of justice.”

Slovakia (2009)

Law No. 291/2009 on the Specialised Criminal Court established Slovakia’s anti-corruption court.

Palestine (2010)

The Corruption Crimes Court of Palestine was established in 2010 under the revised Anti-Corruption Law, and became operational in October of that year.

Serbia (2010)

The Organised Crime Departments with jurisdiction in large-scale corruption cases were created on 1 January 2010 with the coming into force of Amendment 72/2009 of the outdated Law on Organised Crime and Corruption (see Article 34 of the outdated Law on Organised Crime and Corruption).

The Law on the Organisation and Jurisdiction of Government Authorities on the Suppression of Organised Crime, Terrorism and Corruption was enacted by Serbian Parliament in 2016 but only came into force on March 1, 2018, along with the set of changes for corruption-related offences in the Criminal Code. The entry into force coincides with the formation and start of the four new Anti-Corruption units in the Higher Courts.

Cameroon (2011)

The National Assembly created the Special Criminal Court pursuant to law N° 2011/028 of December, 3 2011. Following complaints by lawyers, students, and civil society groups, the legislature passed law N° 2012/011 of July 6, 2012, an amended version of the first act. You can also access the French version.

Malaysia (2011)

The special Corruption Court was established on 16 February 2011 under the jurisdiction of Sessions Court. In pursuant to Section 63 and 64 of Subordinate Courts Act 1948 [Act 92]. See also the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Bulgaria (2012)

The legislation authorising these courts in the first place appears to be the Penal Procedure Code –passed in 2012. However, in 2017 Bulgaria’s Parliament passed an amendment to the Penal Procedure Code that specifically established specialised courts for corruption cases (see Bulgaria high court to seek constitutional ruling on existence of specialised anti-corruption courts ). In early January 2018, the Bulgarian President vetoed that bill.

Senegal (2012)

Senegal’s anti-corruption courts were established pursuant to authorisation in a 1981 statute, Law 81–54 (in French). It was inactive for 30 years. In May 2012, newly elected President Macky Sall reactivated it with Decree 502.

Botswana (2013)

The Chief Justice of the High Court established Botswana’s anti-corruption court in 2013, accompanying the passage of the Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

Tanzania (2016)

Tanzania’s Economic, Corruption and Organised Crime Court was established by the 2016 Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.

Thailand (2016)

The Thai government approved a bill that sets up a Criminal Court for Corruption and Malfeasance Cases dealing with only those types of cases.

Madagascar (2016)

In 2016, the President of Madagascar enacted Anti-Corruption Courts Law No. 2016-021 (in French).

Sri Lanka (2018)

Parliament established the Permanent High Court at Bar for corruption cases by enacting Amendment Act, No. 9 of 2018 1 to the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978.

Ukraine (2018)

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, adopted Bill no 7441 to amend the Law on the Judicial System and the Status of Judges in connection with the adoption of the Law of Ukraine on the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) and to define the jurisdiction of appeals in corruption cases.

The selection process of the HACC judges was per law supported by the international community. See the guide on the selection criteria.

Albania (2019)

In December 2019, based on the 2017 amendment of its Criminal Procedure Court by Law 35 of 2017, Albania established first instance and appeal level anti-corruption and organised crime courts.

Sierra Leone (2019)

In April 2019, the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone established a Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court.

Zimbabwe (2020)

In his opening speech of the 2019 legal year, the Chief Justice reported on the establishment of two pilot anti-corruption courts in the capital Harare and in Bulawayo. He then created a special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court housed at the Magistrates Courts in terms of section 46A of the High Court Act as announced in the Zimbabwean Government Gazette, 20th March, 2020.

Armenia (2021)

U4 would be grateful to be pointed to an official English translation of the Constitutional Law on Amending and Supplementing Constitutional Law on the Judicial Code of the Republic of Armenia 2021. (Contact Sofie Schütte)

    About the author

    Sofie Arjon Schütte

    Dr. Sofie Arjon Schütte leads U4’s thematic work on the justice sector, including specialised institutions like anti-corruption agencies and courts. Previously, she worked for the Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia and the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission and has conducted workshops and short-term assignments on corruption in more than 15 countries. She is editor of the series of U4 publications on anti-corruption courts around the world.


    All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

    This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)