About the sessions

With public anger over government corruption at a fever pitch in many countries, and official efforts to uproot cultures of corruption frustratingly stalled, governments everywhere need a new set of strategies.

The Chandler Sessions on Integrity and Corruption convene a consistent group of senior leaders of anti-corruption institutions together with a small group of academics and expert journalists in regular meetings at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.  The Sessions work collaboratively, share experiences, debate the effectiveness of policy responses, and develop a set of new strategies for strengthening integrity in government institutions and dislodging entrenched corruption.

The Chandler Sessions on Integrity and Corruption are a joint undertaking with University College, Oxford. The Sessions are generously supported by the Chandler Foundation.

Programme

The Sessions convene the officials, scholars and journalists in-person on four occasions, in July 2022, January and July 2023, and January 2024; advancing an agenda that they debated in July 2021. Each of the officials will co-author a paper describing ideas and practices that could transform the field. Each paper will be co-authored by two members of the Sessions, with five draft papers discussed at each of the first three in-person meetings. In January 2024, the discussions will return to the full set of ideas and designs, most by then having been tested in practice.

The Blavatnik School of Government and our partners will distribute the finished papers worldwide, and the papers will form the basis of a set of curricular materials on integrity and corruption, available without charge to training institutions everywhere. The papers will be jointly edited by the Session chair, Professor Christopher Stone, and by the programme’s postdoctoral research associate Izabela Corrêa.

The next public event in the Chandler Session programme is 'How satire can be used to disrupt corruption' with guest speaker Chip Tsao, a seasoned journalist, author, and fearless satirist renowned for his sharp wit and incisive commentary.

Sessions schedule

Meeting 1

July 2022 (with special guest Rob Wainwright on the international sanctions regime)

The inaugural in-person meeting of the Chandler Sessions took place 25-29 July 2022 at the Blavatnik School of Government, in Oxford. Although the members previously met online to discuss specific topics in the anticorruption agenda, this was the first time that the group came together in-person to survey the field more broadly and discuss areas and ideas for innovation. Among the issues discussed were the role of prosecution, strategies for institutional reforms, and tackling specific types of corruption. The group was joined by guests Ricardo Saadi and Rob Wainwright, who shared their experience and ideas for effective responses to fight corruption. Ricardo Saadi led the the Asset Recovery Department at the Brazilian Federal Police and is currently the Director of Investigation and Fight Against Organised Crime and Anticorruption at the same institution. Rob Wainwright is a senior partner at Deloitte and was formerly the Executive Director of Europol.

Meeting 2

January 2023 (with special guest Jane Bradley on journalism disrupting corruption)

The second weeklong in-person meeting of the Chandler Sessions was held in January 2023. Topics debated included reconceiving the role of compliance offices within financial institutions, the extent and harms of sexual corruption, and civil society responses to systemic corruption, among others. Paul Heywood, Sir Francis Hill Chair of Politics, University of Nottingham, and Lisa Rosen, Chief Compliance Officer of the Bank of England, participated as guests. The meeting included a joint session with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on the role of journalism in disrupting corruption, featuring a discussion with Jane Bradley, investigative reporter in London for the New York Times.

Meeting 3

July 2023 (with special guests Lloydette Bai-Marrow and Daniel Bruce on political finance)

The third in-person meeting of the Chandler Sessions took place in July 2023 with guest contributors Professor Matthew Stephenson of Harvard Law School and Gilbert Phiri, Director of Public Prosecutions in Zambia.  The meeting included a public event on corruption in political party finance with special guests Lloydette Bai-Marrow, chair of Spotlight on Corruption, and Daniel Bruce, director of Transparency International UK, jointly sponsored by the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition. Topics debated during closed sessions included the possible creation of a relief fund for victims of corruption, criteria for case selection in anti-corruption investigations, and the application of harm-reduction principles to corruption.

Meeting 4

January 2024 (with special guest Chip Tsao on exposing corruption with humour)

The fourth in-person meeting of the Chandler Sessions will take place in early January 2024 at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.  The meeting will again include a joint session with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Satirical Strategies: Exposing Corruption with Humour.  That session, open to the public, will feature a discussion with Chip Tsao, author and satirist.  Further details of these sessions will be available here after the event.