For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – Five Russian judges will spend Sept. 18–25 examining American legal principles and practices in Milwaukee 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. District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr., and U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia J. Gorence of the Eastern District of Wisconsin will host the Russians’ study trip for Open World in association with the International Institute of Wisconsin (IIW).
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 the visiting judges 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’ Milwaukee schedule include holding roundtables with federal and Milwaukee County Circuit Court judges, discussing the role of the Wisconsin Supreme Court with justices, meeting with prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and with federal defense attorneys, observing court proceedings and a naturalization ceremony, viewing electronic court technology, and visiting Marquette University Law School. Discussions will focus on such topics as judicial ethics, judicial independence, and court administration. Homestays organized by Mariah Strauch-Nelson of IIW will introduce the Russians to American family and community life.
The Open World delegates traveling to Milwaukee are Judge Galina Andreyanova of the Vakhtitovsky District Court in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan (in eastern European Russia); Judge Anna Nykytyna of the Kursk Regional Court (Kursk borders Ukraine); Judge Lyubov
Shalygina, Deputy Chair of the District Court of the Industrial Municipal District of Barnaul, the capital of Altai Territory (on Russia’s border with Kazakhstan); Judge Tamara Uvarova, Deputy Chair of the Seversk Town Court of Tomsk Region (in southern Siberia); and Judge Aleksey Volkov of the Promyshlenniy Municipal Court in Kursk city, the capital of Kursk Region.
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 participants range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. 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 Milwaukee visit and similar exchanges in 2004. Federal host judges for the 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 Mariah Strauch-Nelson at 414-225-6220 or George Felcyn at 202-466-6210. For more background on Open World, please see http://www.openworld.gov.