UGA School of Law hosts Brazilian judicial officials


Monday, November 20, 2006

WRITER: Jessica McGahee, 706/542-5172, jmcg@uga.edu CONTACT: María Eugenia Giménez, 706/542-5138, mgimenez@uga.edu

UGA School of Law hosts Brazilian judicial officials

ATHENS, Ga. - A group of 28 justices, judges, lawyers and court personnel from the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, will visit the University of Georgia Dean Rusk Center - International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies for a judicial training program to be held Nov. 27 to Dec. 8.

The party, which includes eight members of the state Supreme Court, including the chief justice of the court, will be participating in the International Judicial Training Program (IJTP), conducted by the Rusk Center and the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia at the UGA School of Law.

Designed to introduce foreign judges and court personnel to the U.S. judicial system, the IJTP hosts seminars at the law school and at sites throughout the state including sessions at the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and other specialized courts. This program is one of only 10 programs listed by the World Bank as a resource for judicial training in the U.S.

Since the IJTP's inception in 1998, the Rusk Center has hosted more than 120 members of the judiciaries of Brazil, Ghana and Egypt . The Brazilian group arriving this month will be concentrating on judicial administration and includes five retuning participants.

María Eugenia Giménez, associate director of the Rusk Center and co-director of the program, said the IJTP has been working with the state of Pernambuco's judiciary for more than eight years, and every visit brings more participants. She said this year's party includes many high-ranking judicial officials.

"An example of the great success of our collaboration with Pernambuco is that not only have we trained judges and court personnel, but a number of the justices of the state's Supreme Court and four of the past chief justices have completed our program," Giménez said.

"One of the main goals of the IJTP is to support stable democracies by creating foundations for strong and independent judiciaries. We hope to eventually involve members of other courts in Brazil, which would further expand Georgia Law's opportunity to serve one of the strongest democracies in Latin America," she said.

In addition to Giménez, the program is co-directed by Richard D. Reaves, executive director of the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia. Along with the many experts from local and state judiciaries who will lead training sessions are the law school's Michael L. Wells, holder of the Carter Chair in Tort and Insurance Law, and Gabriel M. Wilner, associate dean for international and graduate legal studies.