The @OpenUniversity’s Open Justice Centre and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (@UNODC) are continuing their partnership to deliver to the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. E4J has been developed to prevent crime and promote lawfulness – by supplying integrity and ethics education resources for schools, colleges and universities around the world.

The original, certified five-hour Online Training-of-Trainers course launched in November 2019, introduces the core teaching methods, learning principles and ethical concepts that underpin the E4J Integrity and Ethics Modules. UNODC has now asked the Open Justice Centre – part of the OU’s Law School – to update the course with additional material from the E4J anti-corruption modules. The update – which has just gone live – will also be translated into Spanish, further widening its appeal.

UNODC appointed the OU to work on E4J thanks to its track record of producing innovative distance learning materials. The online format is particularly relevant at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has halted traditional, face-to-face teaching. The new E4J online resource – known as ‘Implementing UNODC’s E4J initiative in your university’ – will be used for the current academic year and beyond.

The E4J materials have been designed to help university lecturers to teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law. The materials give educators an accessible, inspiring introduction to the content, teaching methods and ethical concepts of E4J. Students will also be encouraged to actively engage in their communities and future professions as part of the E4J project.

E4J facilitates and promotes university-level teaching on UNODC’s mandate areas including crucial threats such as: anti-corruption; organised crime; human trafficking; migrant smuggling; counter-terrorism and cybercrime. The OU’s particular areas of focus are integrity, ethics and anti-corruption.

Hugh McFaul, Director of the Open Justice Centre, said: ““It is wonderful that UNODC has asked us to support with the development of further E4J materials. We are honoured to be working with UNODC in this way. It is a great vote of confidence for the Open Justice Centre and our ability to leverage online learning for the benefit of civil society.

“We are focused on encouraging sustainable development and arming the next generation with the tools, knowledge and mechanisms to make the world a better place. The Open University has a long history of successful educational partnerships like these, and of creating superior, innovative and high-tech learning materials. This E4J project is engaging students in issues that matter and which will affect their lives and the future.”

E4J is part of UNODC’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, which calls for the integration of crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider agenda of the United Nations. E4J is one of the Programme’s four components, with the others being: Judicial Integrity; Prisoner Rehabilitation; and Youth Crime Prevention through Sports.

Sigall Horovitz, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC, said: “The course is particularly appropriate in the current global circumstances, as an innovative distance learning tool which guides lecturers on integrating anti-corruption, integrity and ethics issues in their curricula as they move to a digital or blended teaching environment.”

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