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Russian Judges Visit Orlando Through Open World Program
October 25, 2004

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – Five Russian judges will spend Oct. 23-30 in Orlando examining American legal principles and practices through the Open World Program’s specialized rule of law program, the largest U.S.-Russia judicial exchange. Chief U.S. District Judge Patricia C. Fawsett and U.S. Magistrate Judges James G. Glazebrook and David A. Baker of the Middle District of Florida will host the delegation, with assistance from the Rotary Club of Orlando.

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. Participants not only study the nuts and bolts of relevant American judicial procedures, but also gain insight into how the American political system protects judicial independence and promotes the rule of law.

Highlights of the Russians’ Orlando schedule include attending a naturalization ceremony, examining U.S. anti–money laundering laws, meeting with the chief of corrections at the Orange County Jail and touring the facility, discussing pretrial and post-conviction offender supervision with Chief U.S. Probation Officer Elaine Terenzi and Chief Pretrial Services Officer Sheila Jacoby; and attending a Rotary function where U.S. Rep. Ric Keller is speaking.

The Open World delegates traveling to Orlando are Judge Lyudmila Bondareva from the Samara Region Court, Judge Ramil Gilfanov from the Mariy El Republic Supreme Court, Judge Nykolay Hudakov from the Kursk Region Court, Judge Yelena Koveshnikova from the Tambov Region Court, and Judge Lyudmila Pachina, also from the Tambov Region Court.

Open World’s specialized rule of law program is hosting 257 Russian participants in 25 states and the District of Columbia this year. A total of 30 federal and state judges across the country will have hosted delegations for Open World in 2004.

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 visited 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. In addition to rule of law, exchanges focus on such topics as women’s leadership, youth issues, and health.

Open World has awarded a grant to Rotary International to administer the Orlando visit and similar exchanges in 2004. Rotary International has played a major role in hosting Open World exchanges since the program began in 1999. Local Rotarians helped organize the Orlando trip and are providing homestays that will introduce the delegates to American family and community life.

For more information on this visit, contact De De Lovelace at 407-342-1105 or George Felcyn at 202-466-6210. For more background on Open World, please see http://www.openworld.gov.