Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Dean Rusk Center – International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies will host a group of Brazilian judges, lawyers and prosecutors as part of an International Judicial Training Program, which is also co-sponsored by the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7. The group, consisting of 34 participants and one interpreter, is the largest in the IJTP’s history.
The judicial training program is designed to introduce foreign judges and court personnel to the workings of the U.S. judicial system with the hope that they will then implement what they learn into their own court system to improve the quality and efficiency of judicial administration in their home country, according to María Eugenia Giménez, associate director of the Dean Rusk Center and co-director of the program.
To accomplish this, the IJTP hosts seminars at the School of Law as well as performing on-site sessions at various locations throughout the state including the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Georgia Court of Appeals.
“We don’t just want to explain in words how our judicial system works, we want to take the participants and show them,” Giménez said.
This year will be the ninth year a group from Pernambuco, Brazil, has participated in the program. In recognition of this, members from the state of Pernambuco’s judicial college will present five awards during their visit to individuals who have worked with and helped support the program. Award recipients are Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah W. Sears and Presiding Justice Carol W. Hunstein; State Court of Clarke County Chief JudgeN.KentLawrence; Co-Director of the program and Director of the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia Richard D. Reaves; and Giménez.
Members of the Brazilian judiciary have been big supporters of the IJTP. They have sent a group every year since the program began in 1998 and were the first group to receive training. Since then, more than 200 judges and court personnel from Armenia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Egypt and Ghana have participated.
“It is amazing to look back over the past nine years and see how this program has grown,” Giménez said. “We are looking forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary and to continue our work with foreign judiciaries for many years to come.”