For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – Five Russian judges will spend Sept. 18–25 examining American legal principles and practices in Tucson through the Open World Program, the only exchange program in the U.S. legislative branch. The visiting Russian judges will take part in Open World’s specialized rule of law program, the largest U.S.-Russia judicial exchange. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Eileen Hollowell, District of Arizona, will host the Russians’ study trip for Open World in association with International Training and Consulting (ITC).
Through Open World’s rule of law program, Russian jurists get a firsthand look at the U.S. judicial system and develop long-term working relationships with the U.S. federal and state judges who plan and conduct their local visits. Recent major judicial reforms in Russia, including the expansion of jury trials nationwide, make Open World’s rule of law program especially timely, as it provides visiting jurists with valuable opportunities not only to study the nuts and bolts of relevant American judicial procedures, but also to gain insight into how the American political system protects judicial independence and promotes the rule of law.
Highlights of the Russians’ Tucson schedule include participating in a roundtable on judicial ethics with federal and state judges; attending proceedings in federal and state courts, visiting the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court, observing how court orders are signed electronically, meeting with U.S. Marshals, sitting in on a University of Arizona Law School class, and attending a Federal Bar Association luncheon. The Russians’ discussions with their U.S. counterparts will focus on such topics as judicial independence, bankruptcy procedures, case management, and court administration. Judge Hollowell will hold daily wrap-up Q-and-A sessions with the delegates Sept 21–23.
Tucson’s Open World visitors, who all come from Rostov Region in southern Russia, are Judges Yelena Dubrovskaya and Yelena Kobleva of the Rostov Regional Court; Rostov Regional Commercial Court Chair Natalya Shimbareva; Myasnikovsky District Court Chair
Samvel Manukyan; and Judge Oleg Khasiyev of the Pervomaysky District Court in Rostov-on-Don, the regional capital.
Managed by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging political and civic leaders from Russia and other participating countries to work with their U.S. counterparts and to experience American-style democracy in action. More than 8,000 participants from all 89 Russian regions have stayed in all 50 U.S. states since Open World began in 1999. Over the last year, Open World has also initiated pilot exchanges with Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Open World delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. Their intensive, short-term professional visits focus on such topics as economic development, women’s leadership, and youth issues. The program’s administering agency, the Open World Leadership Center, is an independent legislative branch entity that works cooperatively with the U.S. Department of State and other U.S. executive and judicial branch agencies.
Open World has awarded a grant to the Academy for Educational Development to administer the Tucson visit and similar exchanges in 2004. Federal host judges for Open World’s rule of law program are recruited and assisted by the International Judicial Relations Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
For more information on this visit, contact Kimberly Millier at 520-323-0495 or George Felcyn at 202-466-6210. For more background on Open World, please see http://www.openworld.gov.