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Program Highlights

May Anti-Corruption Training

From May 5-9 the CEELI Institute again conducted one of its signature events, a weeklong course on the investigation and prosecution of official corruption, at the Villa Grobovka. This year's participants included investigators, prosecutors, and legal experts from throughout the region, with enthusiastic representation from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Slovakia, and Ukraine. We also welcomed an all-star faculty for this program from across Europe and the United States to lead the discussions and facilitate the trainings, including CEELI Board Chair Homer Moyer; Nicola Bonucci, Director for Legal Affairs at the OECD; Helen Garlick, former head of the UK Serious Fraud Office and now Special Prosecutor to the Government of Turks and Caicos; Susan Ringler, former Counsel to the UN Oil for Food Investigation; and Goran Klemencic, former head of the Slovenian Anti-Corruption Commission. Read more about the program on our website.

Tunisia Judicial Training

The CEELI Institute continues its ongoing project, initiated in the wake of the “Arab Spring” to provide training to Tunisian judges in judicial independence, integrity, and human rights. With the backing of Tunisia’s Ministry of Justice and the judges themselves, the program, "Judging in a Democratic Society," will ultimately reach 900 judges from across Tunisia. This program is being implemented in coordination with the International Legal Assistance Consortium and the International Bar Association, and is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency.

This program stresses the leadership role that judges play in society, the importance of judicial independence, and judicial accountability in a democratic society. Equal emphasis is also given to the tools required to make courts function in a fair and efficient manner, including the substantive knowledge needed to handle current challenges, and training on dealing with administrative issues such as calendaring and case flow management. 
Read more about the June training and the experience of Romanian trainer, Judge Cristi Danilet here.

Central and Eastern European Judicial Exchange Roundtable - June 2014

In June, the Institute hosted the third annual Central and Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network Roundtable, with judges from 16 countries participating.  The program, which the Institute launched in 2012, with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, is specifically designed to provide non-high court judges from the region with an opportunity to exchange best practices on pressing practical judicial issues that they face on a daily basis—such as coping with huge case loads and case backlogs, promoting judicial independence in countries where the concept is new and not completely understood by either politicians or government bureaucrats, implementing judicial ethics in real life situations, handling the press, and remaining accountable to the public for their actions.  The theme for the June program was “Using International Standards to Strengthen Judicial Independence.”  We were delighted to welcome experienced faculty and participants from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, and the U.S. Read more about the Roundtable and the topics discussed on our website.

IFES Comes to Villa Grobovka

The CEELI Institute is thrilled to welcome the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) to the Villa Grobovka!  IFES opened its regional office in Prague, Czech Republic in February 2014, as part of a larger organizational effort by IFES to engage senior electoral leaders in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia by offering professional development programs that focus on evidence-based tools and peer-to-peer learning. IFES’ programmatic offerings will explore the latest electoral issues and trends as well as perennial challenges of election management.  The CEELI Institute looks forward to partnering with IFES on the development of programming opportunities.

IFES held its inaugural workshop in April on the topic of the abuse of state resources (financial, regulatory, institutional, and enforcement) in the election context, and on developing corresponding approaches to monitoring their abuse.  The workshop particularly focused on the use of modern technologies to monitor and report on abuse of resources, including crowd-sourcing, mapping, and other info-graphics.  The workshop also featured open peer-to-peer discussions and practical exercises dedicated to developing strategies to counter abuse of state resources, including the monitoring of state budgets and developing verification protocols for reported abuses received from citizens.  Participants included representatives from election observer groups and corruption watchdogs along with investigative journalists from across the region.
CEELI Launches Initiative with Tunisia Anti-Corruption Agency

In April and May of this year, the CEELI Institute, in partnership with the Swedish-based International Legal Assistance Consortium, launched a new three-year initiative in partnership with the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Agency. The program will provide training and assistance designed to strengthen the capacity of the Anti-Corruption Agency to prevent and investigate cases of official corruption. The Agency, led by prominent veteran Tunisian lawyer Samir Annabi, is well placed to develop into the leading Tunisian governmental body charged with the identification, prevention, and investigation of official corruption. The initial two CEELI Institute programs focused on corruption detection and basic financial investigation techniques. Held on the Agency premises in Tunis, the training was conducted by international experts and brought together representatives from a wide spectrum of Tunisian state bodies with anti-corruption responsibilities, including judges, investigators, government auditors, tax inspectors, and central bank personnel. The broad variety of participant backgrounds enabled a lively discussion with input from various points of view
 – a discussion much needed in order to further define and implement a well-functioning national anti-corruption policy for Tunisia.  Read more about the program on our website.

Looking Ahead

The CEELI Institute is looking forward to an event-filled summer. We have upcoming:

Conference of Chief Justices, Tbilisi, Georgia: June 2014

Annual Meeting, Prague Czech Republic: July 13 - 15

Working with Burmese Legal Associations, Rangoon and Mandalay, Burma: August 2014



Judge Cristi Danilet Interview on Tunisia Program

CEELI Director of Special Projects Joel Martin participates in MENA Stakeholder Summit


Interview with Judge and Management Board Member Ivana Hrdlickova

Goran Klemenčič Tedx Talk on Fighting Corruption


Judge Cristi Danilet Interview on Future in Romania

CEELI Welcomes New Executive Director 

Note from Executive Director Christopher Lehmann
This has been an exciting spring at the CEELI Institute as we continue to implement and deliver an increasingly diverse set of programs and events.  Since taking over leadership of the Institute in April, I have been gratified by the enthusiasm of our friends, partners, supporters and program participants, who give so graciously of their time and energy. I look forward to continuing the Institute’s growth and expansion as we inaugurate new programs this year, both here at the Villa in Prague, and at off-site locations, including our major new undertakings in Tunisia and Burma.  New programs have meant new staff for the Institute, and our vibrant team here in Prague continues to be instrumental to our successes and achievements.  Outreach is important to us, and we welcome your feedback and comments.  This newsletter is part of a larger effort to keep you, our community, up to date about our activities and programs. I look forward to continuing to share regular updates from Prague!
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