CEELI Institute – Fall Newsletter 2017

CEELI at Forum 2000
Forum 2000 (www.forum2000.cz) is an annual convocation in Prague, originally founded by Václav Havel, dedicated to supporting the values of democracy and respect for human rights. The Forum provides a platform for global leaders to openly debate and share thoughts on this critical issue. This year, CEELI again joined in Forum 2000’s Festival of Democracy, hosting a panel entitled “Unwinding: Rule of Law Reform in Europe Under Pressure.”
Partnering with the Association of Croatian Judges 
The CEELI Institute is delighted to announce its new joint partnership with the Association of Croatian Judges in delivering continuing legal education programs for judges from the Czech Republic, Croatia and other EU member states.  The project, funded by the European Commission’s Justice Directorate, is designed to strengthen judicial respect and protections for the legal rights of defendants in criminal proceedings. The project will promote greater understanding among EU judges charged with applying the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights in the field of criminal justice, and will specifically address the right to information in criminal proceedings (Directive 2012/13/EU), and the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings (Directive 2013/48/EU).
The 2017 Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe
The CEELI Institute was honored to support the Seventh Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe, hosted in Budapest by the Supreme Court of Hungary from June 4-7, 2017.  The Conference was originally launched in Prague, at the Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of State, and with the personal commitment of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Conference is now a self-sustaining body that meets annually, and provides the opportunity for the Chief Justices to discuss common challenges, share ideas, and work towards solutions. Front and center among this year’s discussions were the ongoing challenges to judicial independence that continue to be seen and felt across the region.
Providing Lifelines for Syrian Judges in Exile
The CEELI Institute is partnering with the Swedish-based International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) to begin programs that will offer a professional lifeline to Syrian judges who are now in exile in Turkey but who hold on to the hope of one day returning to their country to rebuild the justice system.  Many of the exiled judges remain actively involved with international organizations that are working with refugees in Turkey, for example, by assisting with efforts to maintain basic public records of births, death, and marriages, in the absence of any formal mechanism for recording such crucial life events. All of these Syrian judges are looking ahead to possible scenarios that might occur in Syria after the conflict ends. 
The CEELI Judicial Exchange: India
The CEELI Institute is pleased to initiate a multi-year partnership with the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, India, and the U.S. Federal Judicial Center, which will promote a series of exchanges between U.S. and Indian judges.  This effort, generously supported by the US Department of State’sCounterterrorism Bureau, will focus particularly on judges who are responsible for adjudicating complex cases involving terrorism and national security crimes As is on our past work on this subject matter with judges from a variety of backgrounds, including the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa, the Institute will again make particular use of relevant good practice documents generated by the 30-member Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF)… 
Confronting External Pressures on the Judiciary 
The CEELI Institute continues to be deeply engaged with judiciaries of Central and Eastern Europe, primarily through our ongoing Network of rising young judges, now entering its sixth year of programmatic activities and efforts.  The young judges are increasingly concerned about coping with the external pressures—political, social, media—that work to undermine judicial independence in the region. Recent legislative interference with the judiciary in Poland has been well reported, but disturbing trends are reported across the region. With knives out for judges across the region, they are also keen to pay greater attention to ethical issues, and to avoid conflicts and ethical pitfalls that have caught up with some of their peers. In September the CEELI Institute organized several events to address the increasing pressures on judges, and how to cope with them.
The CEELI Institute is looking forward to a busy schedule through fall and winter. Upcoming events include:

Malta:  Judicial Adjudication of Terrorism Cases, (MENA Judges)October 11-13
Prague:   Supporting Judicial Independence (with Masaryk University), October 19-21 
Bhopal, India: US-India Judicial Exchange: Judicial Adjudication of Terrorism Cases, October 27-29
Prague:  Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption,November 6-10 
Lake Ohrid, Macedonia: Regional Meeting, Central and East European Judicial Network, November 2-3 
 Myanmar: Roundtable with Parliamentarians on Legislative Change, November 14-15