CEELI Institute Spring 2018 Newsletter

CEELI at the UN

In April the CEELI Institute participated in the United Nation’s Launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network.  The Launch, held in Vienna, on April 9-10, 2018, was a groundbreaking event attended by leaders of the world’s judiciaries and a select number of international judicial associations. 

The CEELI Institute was one of a handful of non-governmental organizations invited to join judges from around the globe at the event.  CEELI’s contributions to the Launch event included organizing and moderating a panel on the new professional challenges raised as a result of the increasing use of social media by judges—a topic that CEELI has explored in depth within the context of its ongoing Central and East European Judicial Network. 

For this, CEELI drew on the forward leading experiences with social media in the region, including practices from the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania.
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Supporting Exiled Syrian Judges 

In 2017, CEELI partnered with the Swedish based International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) to provide a lifeline to Syrian judges who have fled the conflict and are now refugees in Turkey.  The hope is that this group will someday be able to return to Syria, and help to rebuild legal and judicial institutions there, which have been decimated by years of conflict. In the meantime, these judges are in need of ongoing support and mentoring. 

In April of this year, the CEELI Institute was able to resume our engagement with this group, with the aim of continuing our efforts to work with them in developing their expertise in thematic areas relevant to post conflict settings. This most recent workshop focused on constitutional issues related to the judiciary and the provisions that typically relate to judicial independence in democratic constitutions…
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  EU Criminal Law: Training for EU judges at CEELI  

The CEELI Institute is proud to have initiated a new effort this year, funded by the European Union, to provide much needed training for judges from the eastern countries of the EU on relevant EU law, instruments and directives governing the application of criminal law. This project was held in Prague, but was jointly organized with our partner, the Association of Croatian Judges, and represents the first time both organizations have directly implemented European Commission funding—a milestone step for both. 

The initial three program sessions held at Villa Grebovka and delivered between February and April 2018, brought together 83 judges from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The program focused on the role of judges in ensuring that defendants in criminal cases have full access to their rights guaranteed by EU law…
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 CEELI Program Director is a Rock Star – Literally

The CEELI Institute is not all work and no play. By day, Marek Svoboda is CEELI’s Director of Programs but by night (and occasionally Saturday afternoons) he is the songwriter, vocalist and guitarist/bassist/Ukulele-ist for one of the Czech Republic’s top pop bands, ILLE. Their hit single Nadruhé straně from their new album, Pohadky, has currently held the top spot on the Czech indie charts for the past five weeks!

ILLE has had a strong presence on the Czech scene for some time. Their first album, released in 2013, secured three nominations at the Anděl awards (the Czech equivalent of the Grammys) the highest number of nominations for any act that year.  
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CEELI Launches New Anticorruption Compliance Training

This year, the CEELI Institute launched a new curriculum designed to train practitioners on effective corporate compliance with international anti-corruption standards, including the operation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Anti-Bribery Law and the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). 

The program is targeted at individuals who have responsibilities for advising their clients or employers on internal corporate compliance. CEELI recognized a growing demand for such training, particularly for practitioners in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia…
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Trial Skills Training for Young Human Rights Defenders
In early May, as part of an ongoing project to work with young lawyers in the Southern Caucuses, the CEELI Institute was pleased to host our first trial skills program for aspiring human rights defenders. Our faculty included John Vaudreuil (the former US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin) and Maxim Timofeev, Professor of Law at European Humanities University, Vilnius, who joined with regional colleagues to work through an intensive 5-day trial skills and moot court workshop tailored for the aspiring defense advocates…
CEELI Institute is looking forward to a busy international schedule. Upcoming events include: 
Kaunas, Lithuania: Judicial Ethics in a Digital Age, May 24-25 
Vilnius, Lithuania: Conference of Chief Justice of Central and Eastern Europe, May 28-29 
Prague:  Using Legal Tools to Protect Civic Space in Eastern Europe, May  22-23 
BurmaJudging In a Democratic Society (multiple locations), May 22-June 1 
Burma:  Trial Skills Training for Young Lawyers, Mawlamyine, Burma, June 1-3 
Prague:  Western Balkans Counterterrorism Initiative, Regional Network of CVE CoordinatorsJune 7-8 
Prague:  Judicial Counterterrorism Project:  Trial Management Tool, Drafting Session, June 18-19 
Prague:  CEE Judicial Network, Manual Working Group Meeting,  June 23-24 
Prague CEELI Institute Annual MeetingJune 24-25 
Prague:  Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption,September 17-21