CEELI Institute Newsletter

CEELI Welcomes the Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

The CEELI Institute was delighted to welcome the Hon. Beverley McLachlin to Prague, as the keynote speaker for our Annual Meeting in late June. Justice McLachlin recently completed her 17 year term as Chief Justice; she was the first woman to hold that position, and was also the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada. Justice McLachlin spoke eloquently about the current challenges to establishment of the Rule of Law, the trends towards its “unraveling” in certain regions, and the need for effective responses to that trend.  She promoted the notion of a shared international value and understanding of the Rule of Law, as something that transcends even national values. Justice McLachlin concluded by noting the work of the Institute in advancing the Rule of Law; She stated that “the CEELI Institute stands as a testament that the Rule of Law offers the best way forward.” Justice McLachlin continues to sit on the International Advisory Board of the Institute.

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CEELI Launches Three-Part Training Series on Preparation of Cases for Appeal Before the European Court of Human Rights

In October, the CEELI Institute, working in cooperation with the Centre de la Protection Internationale (Strasbourg), launched the first session of what will ultimately be a three part course for young lawyers seeking to deepen their competency to work on cases involving violations of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, and seeking to perfect appeals of those violations to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in Strasbourg. The ECtHR is currently among the most important avenues of international appeal and review open to citizens seeking redress from final judgments in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Such redress is particularly important for citizens of European countries which are not members of the European Union, such as Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.
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The 2018 Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe

The CEELI Institute was honored to again support the Annual Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe, hosted in Vilnius by the Supreme Court of Lithuania from May 27-29, 2018.  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.

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Advocacy Skills Training at CEELI

In May, the CEELI Institute launched a new advocacy skills training effort for young lawyers from the Eurasia region.  The one week program is designed to build the confidence of young legal professionals in areas that are most relevant to human rights advocacy in a trial setting – i.e. oral presentation and argument, motion practice, and persuasive speaking. Faculty included a roster of highly experienced international trainers. The course is highly interactive and incorporates daily participants exercises, reflecting tried and true interactive components developed for use in clinical legal education programs, including the international programs run by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Participants were very enthusiastic, noting that the practical aspects of the workshop were something they had never experienced in their prior legal education opportunities.

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New Partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

The CEELI Institute is delighted to join in a partnership with the International Foundation Electoral Systems (IFES) on a new project to strengthen the implementation of anti-corruption standards in Europe, with particular focus on Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro.  The project will focus first on the identification of priority substantive anti-corruption reforms, and then on steps to assist local stakeholders in implementation of those reforms; for example, the project will assist in addressing as of yet unmet recommendations arising out of the evaluation processes undertaken by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). This project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s International, Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (INL).

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CEELI: Supporting US-India Judicial Engagement

In September, the CEELI Institute continued its multi-year partnership with the National Judicial Academy of India (NJA) by organizing an international exchange for Indian High Court Judges tasked with creating a brand new counterterrorism curriculum for use in training Indian judges. This exchange was the second such meeting of Indian and American judges facilitated by the CEELI Institute, the first being held in Bhopal, India, at the home of the NJA, last year. The Institute was also delighted to continue its partnership with the US Federal Judicial Center (FJC), in organizing this program.

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CEELI Institute is looking forward to a busy international schedule. Upcoming events include:

Prague: CEE Judicial Network, Manual Working Group Meeting:  October 27
Prague: Partners Meeting, Effective Campaign Against Corruption, November 1-2
Ohrid, Macedonia: Third International Judicial Workshop, November 1-2
Prague: International Models of Insolvency: Practitioners Seminar, November 5-7
Prague: Workshop for Journalists on Court Monitoring, November 8-12
Prague: Workshop for Anti-Corruption Practitioners:  Creating a Database for Politically Exposed Persons, November 19-20

Prague: Litigation Skills Development, December 15-17
Burma: Roundtables with Parliamentarians and Lawyers on Implementation of Anti-Corruption Legislation, Yangon, Mawlamyine and Bago, December
Burma: Workshop on Anti-Corruption Activism – Mawlamyine, December 
Prague: Anti-Corruption Compliance and Ethics Training for Lawyers, January 19-21