The Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law.
We recognize that all range of participants in global society can make important contributions to addressing these critical issues, so we welcome nominations from all types of individuals, movements and organizations. Nominees could include prominent world leaders, grass roots activists, social movements, charitable groups dedicated to specific social issues or other corporate bodies, whether for-profit or not. The breadth of this focus reinforces our belief that we all have responsibilities to promote transparency and the Rule of Law.
We understand courage as requiring action in the face of significant personal constraints. These constraints may be to the safety of the nominee and their family, but they may also entail other types of personal cost. They might include, for example, potential implications for future career prospects, financial wellbeing, exclusion from social groups or other consequences that are undesirable to the nominee. The essence of courage for the purposes of this award is that the nominee has acted to combat corruption and promote transparency, regardless of potential costs personally.
A nominee’s activities must inspire others. Leadership of new social movements is one obvious example of this inspiration, but there are many others. For instance, leadership could also include the development of new technologies for monitoring kickbacks to government officials, even though there might only be a loose connection between the developers of the tools and the end users. Along the same lines, scholars also show leadership where their actions stimulate change, irrespective of whether or not they implement their ideas themselves. Inspiration is the touchstone.
We understand corruption to mean the abuse of power. Corruption can occur within government, but it also takes place within private institutions, companies, and non-governmental organizations. At the political level, corruption often involves abuse of public power, office, or resources by elected or appointed government officials for personal or related party gain, sometimes in connection with favouritism in the awarding of jobs or contracts. Outside government, it involves extortion, bribery and other attempts to circumvent the law. A nominee’s work must seek to resist or overcome corrupt practices for the benefit of society and promotion of long-term stability, which sometimes may even involve challenging the law itself if it serves corrupt purposes. The nominee’s actions can relate to a single important act of corruption or practices that lead to the systematic or incremental corruption of a political regime.
Transparency implies public disclosure. On one level, transparency involves regular and accurate publication of important governmental practices and information that allow for informed public debate. This disclosure goes to the heart of democratic principles by allowing local voters to make informed decisions at the ballot box. On another level, the term also involves revealing hidden practices that are harmful to the wider social interest, even if they occur privately. While nominees must promote transparency, they should also be sensitive to the potentially negative and damaging consequences of revealing certain types of information.
We believe that those responsible for diverting public wealth or undermining the Rule of Law should answer to the public for their actions. At a minimum, this implies that those who are responsible for acts of corruption should be identified. Beyond identification alone, other forms of legal accountability might also be appropriate, ranging from financial reparations to criminal charges in egregious circumstances. While we have no preconceived idea about the form accountability must take, the nominee should work to further justice by calling those responsible for acts of corruption to account for their wrongs.
Rule of Law
A society governed by the Rule of Law operates under a system of fair and just legal standards, not arbitrary government. Thus, the Rule of Law denotes an orderly and ethical legal system, where at a minimum legislature, executive and judiciary are independent, where law enforcement is impartial and where all individuals are equal before the law. Likewise, the term requires that no entity is beyond the law, including governments, corporations and other powerful members of society. The successful nominee’s work will promote the establishment and maintenance of these principles, within local communities, individual countries or globally.