ILAC MENA Program Kickoff Meeting at Villa Gröbovka

The CEELI Institute welcomes representatives from peer organizations to Villa Gröbovka  from November 20-23 on the occasion of the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) MENA Program Kickoff Meeting!

The CEELI Institute and ILAC:

As part of  the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) and with generous funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the CEELI Institute is helping lead an important effort to train Tunisian judges in judicial integrity and human rights. With the enthusiastic 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 and its different courts. CEELI implements the program in partnership with the International Bar Association.

About ILAC:

The international community played a prominent role in assisting nations to rebuild justice systems shattered by war. However, while some of these efforts have been successful, all too often organisations offering assistance arrive in countries uninvited, each acting independently of one another, often duplicating efforts or working at cross purposes.

In the light of this experience it became clear that through improved planning, coordination and cooperation – international assistance to rebuild justice systems could become much more effective.  As a consortium with a broad membership base involved in technical legal assistance programs, the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) hopes to contribute to a better coordination by providing objective assessments and recommendations accepted by both local and international actors.

Join Us for a Presentation – “PROMOTING A RULE OF LAW IN MYANMAR: The Lawyers’ Perspective”

The Burma Center Prague and CEELI Institute invite you to join us for a presentation of our work in Myanmar:

“PROMOTING A RULE OF LAW IN MYANMAR :  The Lawyers’ Perspective” 

on Wednesday, November 20 – 17:00 – 18:30 at the Villa Gröbovka in Prague 2: 

After decades of government repression and scrutiny there is a modest opening for lawyers in Myanmar to organize to promote a rule of law and human rights. To monopolize upon this moment and with generous support from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Transition Promotion Program, the Burma Center Prague and CEELI Institute launched a rule of law project with the Myanmar Lawyers Network that culminated in a series of workshops over ten days this August – September, 2013.

Our workshops were an opportunity for members of the Myanmar Lawyers Networks to meet with their international colleagues and each other to discuss the important role lawyers can play in promoting human rights and a rule of law.  Discussion centered around experiences and lessons learned from other countries, specifically the Czech Republic, that have recently undergone a transition to a rule of law.


Ms. Sabe Soe, Executive Director of the Burma Center Prague

Ms. Quinn O’Keefe, Executive Director of the CEELI Institute

Mr. TomášVachuda, Vice President and General Counsel  of the Anglo-American University in Prague, and co-facilitator of our workshops in Myanmar

A reception will follow the program, and we would also like to invite you to stay for a concert by the Music Academy, hosted by Prague 2, at 19:00 in the Villa’s main hall.

The program will be held in English.

Judge Mark L. Wolf discusses the CEELI Institute and Roundtable with RFE/RL

The CEELI Institue and C&EE Judicial Exchange Network was honored to have Judge Mark L. Wolf serve as an expert faculty at last week’s Central & Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network Roundtable. While in Prague, Judge Wolf was interviewed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and had some wonderful remarks about the CEELI Institute, the Judicial Exchange Network, as well as the many young judges and court administrators from throughout Central & Eastern Europe that he met here at the Roundtable. Here is a short excerpt: CEELI-10“I am [in Prague] for a very promising program of the CEELI Institute. [Central European And Eurasian Law Institute] They have developed, they have begun to form and permit to be forged a network of young judges from more than a dozen Central European, Eastern European, and Balkan countries who are dedicated to establishing impartial judiciaries in their countries. […] I’ve really been impressed by these young judges who may be a minority at the moment, who are in their country working very hard to establish impartial, independent judiciaries. They are now learning from each other’s experiences as part of this network and focus on a very important program.” Judge Wolf’s interview in its entirety can be found here.

C&EE Judicial Exchange Network Holds Productive Roundtable at the CEELI Institute

November 4-5 the CEELI Institute hosted its second Roundtable in Prague for 34 non-high court judges and court administrators from 17 countries in the region.  The program centered on best practices for building the public’s confidence in the judiciary and effective anti-corruption efforts as well as on developing governance structures for the Network.


The Honorable Theodore Sedgwick, U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia, opened the Roundtable with remarks on the challenges facing the judiciary in Slovakia and strategies that the U.S. Embassy is developing with Slovak stakeholders.  Two expert faculty, the Honorable Mark L. Wolf, United States District Judge, and the Honorable Jan Westhoff, Vice-President of the Amsterdam District Court, led Roundtable discussions with several participant judges who served as co-moderators.

November’s Roundtable saw the Central & Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network come to life as participants exchanged experiences, shared lessons learned and set personal objectives. Participants also committed to developing the Network into a self-sustaining entity and established several future objectives toward achieving this goal, including an internal strategic workshop to be held at the CEELI Institute in early December.


To-date the Network has reached a total of 51 non-high court judges and court administrators from 18 different countries across Central & Eastern Europe.  This past year, several of these participants also took part in other CEELI Institue programs, including our Anti-Corruption Workshop and training program for Tunisian judges.