For Immediate Release
October 25, 2005, Kyiv, Ukraine – Twenty-five Ukrainian judges from fifteen regions of Ukraine will visit the United States to take part in the congressionally sponsored Open World Program. The Open World delegates are organized into five delegations that include judges from commercial, general and appeals courts at the local, regional and national levels in Ukraine. The Open World hosting experience will provide Ukrainian judges with the unique opportunity to directly communicate with American colleagues and to see the U.S. legal system in action. These opportunities are significant in light of recent legal reforms aimed at establishing a contemporary judicial system and furthering judicial independence in Ukraine.
The delegates were nominated by several Ukrainian organizations, including the the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the High Council of Justice, the Council of Judges, and the Academy of Judges as well as U.S. government entities and non-profit organizations based in Kyiv. The Ukrainian Open World participants will be hosted in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Louisville, Kentucky.
Following an orientation session in Washington D.C., which includes a visit to the U.S. Supreme Court and a meeting with Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, delegates will depart for a week of intensive professional programming in their host cities. Their programs include participating in judges’ roundtables; observing jury selection and sentencing procedures; discussing judicial selection and ethics with members of the judicial community; visiting law firms, law schools, and corrections facilities; learning about community policing; and taking part in bar association functions.
The Open World Program provides Eurasian civic and political leaders with a firsthand opportunity to work with their professional counterparts to develop a better understanding of the American approach to democracy and a free-market economy. Another major goal of the exchange is to enhance mutual understanding by facilitating extensive and sustainable professional relationships and personal friendships between American hosts and Open World participants.
Open World expanded its activities to include Ukraine in 2003, and in the past year and a half, 201 Ukrainian participants including leading journalists, judges, elections experts, lawyers, and community leaders have traveled to the United States under the auspices of the Open World Program. Open World’s Ukrainian participants have been hosted in 57 different American communities in 15 different states.
The Open World program is administered by the Open World Leadership Center, an independent agency in the U.S. legislative branch governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of public and private-sector representatives. Funding for the Center’s high-level professional exchanges comes from both public and private sources.