Judges from Turkey learn about Georgia Judiciary

Georgia has a long-standing relationship with foreign judges who want to learn about justice systems in the United States and, particularly, how justice works in Georgia.  The most recent international visitors include two judges from Turkey.  Judge Sukru Say, Istanbul Tax Court, and Judge Orhan Karabacak, Rize Administrative Court, toured the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Fulton County Superior Court on June 16.
The visit to Georgia came at the suggestion of Professor Maureen O’Connor at Michigan State University. Michigan State provides certificate studies in court administration to the Georgia Council of Court Administrators (GCCA).
altJudge Say and Judge Karabacak met with Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson prior to watching a session of oral arguments. Afterward they were treated to a presentation on the work of the Administrative Office of the Courts with AOC Director Marla Moore and staff members who described the different functions of the departments within the agency. 
During their visit to the AOC, both judges had questions about the scope and scale of the work of the AOC.  They were interested in the work of the Office Governmental and Trial Court Liaison and its dealings with the General Assembly. The Office of Dispute Resolution’s presentation on mediation began a discussion on the Turkish system’s lack of mediation services, even though mediation is mandated there. 
After lunch with Justice Carol W. Hunstein, the pair spent the afternoon at the Superior Court of Fulton County where they met with Chief Judge Gail S. Tusan, Judge Henry Newkirk, Mr. Vernon Pitts, Public Defender, and Ms. Yolanda Lewis, 5th District Court Administrator. They observed the courtroom of Judge Robert C. McBurney as well as touring the Clerk of Court and Jury Management offices.
Judge Karabacak was impressed with the size of jurisdiction of the Fulton County Superior Court and its use of accountability courts.   “I had some doubts about accountability courts, and the question for me was whether courts should carry out mere judicial matters such as handling cases. Interestingly, after the visit to Fulton County and speaking with its judges and Ms. Lewis, my thoughts have been changed,” he stated.
During their visit to the United States, Judges Say and Karabacak also visited federal courts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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