Russian judges visit the Land of Goshen
Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, IL)
Posted on June 13, 2002
By Zhanda Malone
|Five Russian judges stand with their translator near the Madison County Jail. Photo by Zhanda Malone|
Managed by the Center for Russian Leadership Development at the Library of Congress, Open World brings emerging Russian leaders to the United States for a hands-on introduction to its democratic institutions and market economy. Open World is the only exchange program housed in the U.S. legislative branch.
The judges will remain in the St. Louis area until Saturday, touring courts and other law enforcement entities in Edwardsville, East St. Louis and St. Louis.
Chief Circuit Judge P.J. O'Neill hosted the Russian Judge delegation during their Edwardsville visit. This visit included the opportunity to observe both jury and non-jury matters being tried. They also received a tour of the Madison County Jail.
U.S. District Judge David Herndon, Southern District of Illinois, is hosting the judges entire visit which began Saturday. The Russian delegation includes a judge of the Supreme court of Karelia (in northwestern Russia, bordering Finland) and judges of the regional courts of Leningrad region (in northwestern Russia, bordering Estonia and Finland) Vladimir region (in central European Russia, southeast of Moscow) Volgograd region (in southern European Russia, bordering Kazakhstan) and Yaroslavl region (in central Russia northeast of Moscow).
Highlights of the Russian delegation's St. Louis area schedule include observing oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, attending federal court proceedings in East St. Louis, including jury selection with Magistrate Judge Clifford Proud and a criminal jury trial with Judge Herndon.
The delegation's visit to the St. Louis area comes at an important stage in Russia's democratic transition. This year, the Russian Federation begins implementing President Vladimir Putin's recently enacted judicial reform package &endash; one of the main components of which is the expansion of jury trial nationwide. The extensive reforms also include provisions aimed at enhancing the status, accountability, and independence of the Russian judiciary by improving judges' pay and ending their lifetime tenure and immunity from prosecution.
© Edwardsville Intelligencer 2002. Used with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Reprinted with Permission]