CEELI Institute Spring 2017 Newsletter

Save the Date! The CEELI Institute Annual Meeting: July 9-10, 2017
Mark your calendars to join us in Prague, at the Villa Grebovka, on July 9-10, 2017 for the CEELI Institute‘s Annual Meeting. Once again we look forward to bringing together a diverse cross-section of academicians, government officials and experts, as well as our board members, funders, partners, and friends, to discuss some of the most pressing issues we face in our efforts to advance the Rule of Law in ever more challenging environments. The gathering allows us the opportunity to convene prominent thought leaders from the international development community for frank discussions on the critical challenges facing our region as it struggles with war, corruption, and the rise of illiberal regimes which question the value of democratic transitions. The program will focus not just on problems, but on solutions: What are effective strategies for delivering development assistance and supporting civil society in the face of hostile environments and government repression?

Registration is now open on the CEELI Institute’s website at:
 Password: prague_2017

Voices of the Next Generation: Bringing Change to the Middle East 
The CEELI Institute is delighted to be able to announce the continuation of its groundbreaking program bringing together young lawyers from the Middle East to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role that international law can play in its resolution. This program has been generously supported by the International Bar Association for a second year.  The program extension will allow us to continue to bring together the diverse group of young lawyers on a quarterly basis at the Institute in Prague, during which participants are able to speak honestly, exchange views, examine applicable principles of international law, and jointly explore difficult, emotional issues affecting Israel and Palestine.  This program was highlighted last year at the IBA’s annual Rule of Law Forum, in Washington, for an audience of over 300 people, where the young lawyers themselves spoke of the unusual nature of the project and their personal experiences as participants in this kind of dialogue.
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Supporting Judges Who Deal with Terrorism Cases
In March, the CEELI Institute continued its ongoing efforts to support judges in countries on the front lines in the fight against terrorism, with support from the US Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau. The most recent program was designed to support judges from the Western Balkans and brought together judges and prosecutors from seven Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. These countries continue to be on the front line of European counterterrorism threats, as they sit directly abreast of the main transit routes for Syrian and other refugees, and see first-hand the phenomenon of returning foreign terrorist fighters. The intensive three-day exchange focused on useful practices for judges adjudicating cases involving terrorism and other national security issues, with special reference to The Hague Memorandum on Good Practices for the Judiciary in Adjudicating Terrorism Offenses…
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Strength in Diversity: CEELI expands its Institutional Partnerships Across Europe 
In February, the CEELI Institute staff was delighted to welcome the leadership of the highly respected Italian organization, the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights for in-depth meetings on future program collaboration and engagement. The CEELI Institute greatly values our increasing roster of programmatic partnerships with institutions across Europe. 
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CEELI Judicial Manual Put to Work in Drafting the Georgian Judicial Strategy  
 The CEELI Institute is pleased to report that its Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of Justicecontinues to be put to good use by judicial practitioners across the region. Most recently, our colleagues in the Republic of Georgia report that the Manual was used extensively by the High Council of Justice in the process of drafting Judicial Strategy for Georgia for 2017-2021. They note that the Manual was one of the guiding documents used in determining the main directions of the judicial strategy, and the content of the strategy‘s sub-chapters. As one of the judges noted, the drafters and researchers appreciated the flexibility of the manual, and the availability of a keyword system that facilitated the research. The CEELIManual represents a systematic effort to survey relevant international standards applicable to the judiciary, and provides easily accessible, substantive legal support for issues related to the status, work, rights, and responsibilities of judges.
CEE Judges Take on Corruption 
In January, the CEELI Institute hosted the latest meeting of our Central and East European Judicial Exchange Network, comprised of some of the best and brightest young judges from eighteen countries in the region who have come together to share the best practices on issues of judicial independence, integrity, and accountability. This project is funded through a generous ongoing grant from the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (NL). The program focused on supporting judicial efforts to combat corruption both within and without the profession. 
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Looking Ahead…
CEELI Institute is looking forward to a busy schedule through spring and summer. Upcoming events include:
  • Tunisia: Building Public Trust in the Judiciary, April 22-23
  • Prague: Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption, April 24-28 
  • Budapest: Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe,  June 4-6
  • Prague: Judicial Ethics,  June 15-17
  • Prague: CEELI Institute Annual Meeting 2017, July 9-11
  • Malta: Judicial Adjudication of Terrorism Cases,September