Trainings for Court Presidents Held in Tunis 


2015-04-17 at 10-28-33On April 15-17, the CEELI Institute held a special session of its judicial training program, designed in cooperation with the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) nd the Tunisian Ministry of Justice for Presidents of Tunisian Courts. Twenty six court Presidents from all over Tunisia, together with four additional Judges from Morocco, took part in the training. The session was led by veteran lawyer and former CEELI Institute Director Joel Martin, together with Judges Lee Rosenthal (USA), Anna Bednarek (Poland) and Domagoj Frntič (Croatia).
Apart from the overall workshop topic – judging in a democratic society – the session served also as a useful platform for the judges to discuss shared issues and concerns. Discussion ranged from relationship between judiciary and the media, to lessons from coping with the physical loss of administrative records during the Yugoslav war, to asserting judicial independence vis a vis other state actors.
An equivalent session will be held by the International Bar Association on April 22-24.

CEELI Institute Anti-Corruption Training – Spring Course Now Full


Spring Course Now Full picThis five day highly interactive training provides participants with a comprehensive framework for investigating and prosecuting official corruption.

The course will take place at the Institute in Prague the week of May 11-15, 2015, and is designed to walk participants through the actual investigation of a case involving official corruption.

While the course capacity is currently filled for these dates, the CEELI Institute is accepting applications for its autumn course.

Particpants will work in small groups, to develop their own investigation strategy, learning to use time tested investigative tools and to develop practical skills along the way. Over the course of five days, students will:

  • Learn to identify transactional red flags, and evaluate possible cases of official corruption
  • Analyze publically available information to detect signs of corruption
  • Develop an Investigative Plan and take the first steps in pursuing their proactive investigation
  • Consider what documents to access—and how to get them
  • Discuss how to utilize law enforcement tools to access financial records
  • Consider the how to acquire and use legally collected electronic evidence
  • Use Invoices, payment ledgers, receipts and support, travel records to support the investigation
  • Undertake Forensic Analysis of relevant financial evidence necessary to “follow the money”
  • Learn techniques for effectively conducting interviews of potential witnesses and targets
  • Develop a “theory of the case” in order to assure that the evidence collected sufficiently supports the charges to be brought by the prosecutors
  • Prepare to present the case for trial, by marshalling necessary evidence and by considering possible defenses and challenges that will be faced at trial
  • Consider alternative mechanisms for resolving corruption cases
  • Consider non-investigative measures to prevent and expose official corruption

Orignally launched in March 2013, the Institute continues to bringing together the world’s most experienced anti-corruption prosecutors, forensic accountants and practitioners as faculty to design and teach this course. This year’s faculty line up already includes:

Keynote Speaker

Drago Kos, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, and former Chairman of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)


  • Jean-Michel Ferat, Managing Director at the Claro Group, Washington, D.C. Mr. Ferat is an expert in forensic accounting, the conduct of forensic investigations and in the analysis of complex data sets. He is a former investigator for the UN Oil-for-Food Programme
  • Goran Klemenčič, Minister of Justice of Slovenia. As the former Chief Commissioner of the Slovenian Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, he was responsible for leading the investigation ultimately leading to the conviction of Slovenia’s Prime Minister on corruption charges in 2014.
  • Andrew Levchuk handles complex criminal litigation for the firm of Bulkey, Richardson and Gelinas in Boston. He is a former career federal prosecutor for the US Department of Justice with significant experience in investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.
  • Mark F. Mendelsohn, Chief FCPA enforcement official, Fraud Section, U.S. Department of Justice from 2005-2010; responsible for more than 130 anti-corruption prosecutions, including the largest financial penalties ever imposed under the FCPA; delegate, OECD Working Group on Bribery. Partner, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Washington, DC.
  • Homer E. Moyer is recognized as a leader of America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) bar. He has served as counsel in dozens of investigations, chaired more than 35 international anti-corruption conferences, and serves as editor of Anti-Corruption Regulation. He is a partner at Miller & Chevalier, Washington, DC
  • Susan Ringler is Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Alcoa, in New York. Former federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice, who also served as General Counsel for UN Oil-for-Food Investigation, and as a corruption investigator at the World Bank. Ms. Ringler also previsously served as the Deputy Director of CEELI Criminal Law Program managing programs across the the former Soviet Republics.
  • Bill Waite, Co-founder of Risk Advisory, London, a global risk management consultancy. Mr. Waite previously worked in UK’s Serious Fraud Office as a prosecuting counsel before moving into the private investigation and fraud advisory sector. He is a sought-after commentator on anti-corruption legislation and enforcement in the United Kingdom and abroad.


To reserve a place or for more information, please email or call +420 222 520 057
2,000 USD – Full course and materials with lodging. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments included.
1,500 USD – Full course and materials without lodging. Lunch and refreshments included.

See brochure belove for more detailed information:

CEELI – brochure – WEB

Training for Ukrainian Media Lawyers


2015-04-05 at 09-48-40-cropWe have just concluded a 4-day intensive training for media lawyers from Ukraine, organized in cooperation with the Ukrainian NGO Regional Press Development Institute. The program focused on areas ranging from comparative international media legislation, to defending  whistleblowers, legal aspects of social media, to concrete cases of court practice from Ukraine and Eurasia. Regional and international faculty included the co-founder of the NGO Government Accountability Project Tom Devine and Columbia University Professor Stuart Karle.

More photos here:

Announcing the 25th Anniversary Reunion of ABA/CEELI, June 27-29, 2015


Villa at nightThis summer, the CEELI Institute and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) will join together for a very special joint meeting in Prague, at the CEELI Institute’s Villa Grebovka, on June 27-29, 2015. The festivities will mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of original American Bar Association/Central and East European Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) project in 1990–the forerunner for both of our organizations. The meeting also marks the 15th anniversary of the creation of the CEELI Institute.

We hope that everyone can join us for this special series of events in Prague, as we look back on a quarter century of Rule of Law efforts, and look forward to the challenges that remain. We are planning an exciting program.

The schedule is as follows (all events will be held at the Villa Gröbovka, in Prague):

June 27 (Saturday): ABA/CEELI Alumni arrive in Prague for a special CEELI Alumni Reunion Dinner at the Villa Gröbovka (Informal Reunion Barbeque on the Villa Terrace—everyone welcome!)

June 28 (Sunday): CEELI Institute Board Members and other Guests continue to arrive in Prague; the Afternoon will feature an Alumni Reunion Panel on the “ABA/CEELI Legacy” and the Evening will feature a Welcoming Reception at the Villa

June 29 (Monday) – Full Day Program of Speakers and Panels at the Institute, celebrating 25 years of work to advance the Rule of Law

For information on registration and accommodation for the Reunion, please contact us at:

We hope you can join us to celebrate this very special anniversary.  Please do not hesitate to email us with any questions or requests, and we look forward to hosting a great event this June in Prague!


Russian Journalist Olga Romanova Gives a Presentation at the CEELI Institute



Celebrated Russian journalist, economist and citizen activist Olga Romanova gave an eye opening presentation at the CEELI Institute about the relationship between trend of prosecuting small businesses on accusations of economic crimes, official corruption in Russia and a passive judiciary. Ms. Romanova is a founding member of the “League of Voters” movement and “Russia in Jail” movement, a support and advocacy group for families of businesspeople imprisoned on false charges of economic crimes in Russia.


Ms. Romanova became a vocal proponent of the passage of a European “Magnitsky Act” because of the imprisonment of her husband, Alexei Kozlov, on what she and others claim were false charges. Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer for Hermitage Capital, died in pre-trial detention where he was allegedly tortured and denied access to medical treatment. The US Magnitsky Act was named after him, and sanctions those people directly involved with his imprisonment and untimely death. Mr. Kozlov spent four and a half years in detention in Russia before the charges against him were dropped in 2013.


According to statistics cited by Ms. Romanova, district court judges in Russia review an average of 30 cases per week, and spend an average of 14 hours reviewing criminal cases involving alleged violations of norms per Russia’s Labor Ministry. These same judges are expected to hand down a minimum of 1000 years of prison sentences a year. This situation, along with Ms. Romanova’s assertion that the judiciary is complacent and dependent because of job security and benefits awarded by the Kremlin, means that the trend towards finding and imprisoning ‘criminals’ does not show signs of decreasing. Judicial tendencies to rule in favor of the state coupled with prosecutors bent on dismantling companies for the financial benefit of people in power means that small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs are at great risk in Russia. The reasons for the ‘hunting down’ of small business owners in Russia is due to a few factors: they are easily preyed upon because of their lack of political capital, and to punish those who may openly disagree with those in power. Ms. Romanova asserts that independent businesspeople are an easy target for those who seek to increase their financial gains by using their political power to manipulate a malleable system.