Georgia Judicial System hosts foreign judges

On October 31, 2014, at the request of the United States Department of State’s International Visitor’s Program, the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts (JC/AOC) along with local judges, welcomed a visiting delegation of judges from the Republic of Croatia. The Department of State outlined objectives for the project, which expanded beyond the judges’ visit to Georgia.
The project was designed to explore procedures and best practices for prosecuting trafficking in persons (TIP) cases and the critical role of judges in this process; introduce the participants to U.S. federal and state level legislation for preventing and combating TIP; provide insight into interagency cooperation and other types of interaction between the judicial system, prosecutors’ offices, law enforcement agencies, and community organizations, as well as between international, federal, state, and local entities; and, examine initiatives for protecting, assisting, and socially reintegrating TIP victims.

The Croatian judges included:  Ms. Iva Gradiski Lovrecek (Judge, Municipal Criminal Court, Zagreb); Mr. Drazen Kevric (Judge, Municipal Criminal Court, Zagreb); Ms. Anamarija Pavicic (Judge, Zagreb Municipal Court, Juvenile Department); Ms. Visnja Strinic (Municipal Court Criminal Division, Split). The judges were accompanied by coordinator Ms. Kitsy Smith and Dr. Carmen Ess and Ms. Emese Purger, who served as interpreters.

The conversation between local judges and the Croatian delegation served to expose the international visitors to the elements of Georgia’s justice system that address human trafficking. Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua and Juvenile Court Judge Cassandra Kirk, both of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, gave the visitors an overview of our judicial system and fielded and posed questions related to human trafficking and other court processes. The judges were joined by Shannon Weathers, General Counsel, Council of Superior Court Judges, Marla Moore, Director, JC/AOC Director, and Erin Oakley, Project Coordinator.
 
Brazilian Judges
In what has become a yearly visit to Georgia, a group of Brazilian judicial officers spent two weeks in Georgia studying judicial administration through a program conducted by the Institute of Judicial Education.
 
altOn December 11, 2014, the Brazilian contingent met with Marla Moore, Director, JC/AOC, at the State Bar of Georgia offices in Atlanta.  Ms. Moore discussed the work of the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts, including outlining the budget process for the judicial branch and the work of each of the JC/AOC’s divisions.

The Brazilian judges also met with representatives of the state’s appellate courts, State Bar of Georgia staff, and attended court sessions in the Athens courts during their time in Georgia. The Institute of Continuing Judicial Education hosts international groups several times a year with its International  Judicial Educational (IJE) program, in collaboration with the University of Georgia School of Law and Dean Rusk Center – International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies at UGA. The program assists foreign state and national governments in strengthening their judiciaries through the training of judges and court personnel.

The IJE program seeks to foster increased judicial independence, efficiency, and accountability, thereby increasing public and investor confidence in national judiciaries. The emphasis on judicial independence, court administration, case management, ethics, continuing education, and implementation is designed to foster long-term, systemic change in participant countries. Judges from Turkey, Japan, and Venezuela visited Georgia during 2014.

For more information on the International Judicial Education Program, see http://icje.uga.edu/ijtp/ijtp_brochure_english.pdf

Contact AOC

Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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