Partnering with the Association of Croatian Judges

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The CEELI Institute is delighted to announce its new joint partnership with the Association of Croatian Judges in delivering continuing legal education programs for judges from the Czech Republic, Croatia and other EU member states.  The project, funded by the European Commission’s Justice Directorate, is designed to strengthen judicial respect and protections for the legal rights of defendants in criminal proceedings. The project will promote greater understanding among EU judges charged with applying the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights in the field of criminal justice, and will specifically address the right to information in criminal proceedings (Directive 2012/13/EU), and the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings (Directive 2013/48/EU).   

This effort is particularly significant because it is designed to make language accommodations for non-English speaking judges from both Croatia and the Czech Republic, and thereby directly address issues of under application of EU criminal justice standards and guarantees in some national courts.  The partnership on this project with the Association of Croatian Judges is a natural extension of their long cooperative relationship with the CEELI Institute that has included participation of Croatian judges, both as participants and as faculty, at numerous Institute programs, as well as collaboration by the Institute and the Association to conduct an ongoing series of international judicial conferences in Croatia. 

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT – Logistics Assistant

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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT – Logistics Assistant

Location:  Prague, Czech Republic 

Estimated Start Date:  October 2017

The CEELI Institute is seeking a Logistics Assistant to provide assistance with all aspects of the implementation and organization of programs designed to promote rule of law through professional trainings; programs are delivered both in Prague and at offsite locations for an international audience. 

The CEELI Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, international provider of post-graduate, professional legal education headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic.  Our mission is to develop and train an international network of legal professionals committed to a rule of law. Through innovative training programs and other activities, we work with judges, lawyers, civil society, government officials, and other professionals in countries building laws-based societies to support fair, transparent, and effective judicial systems, strengthen democratic institutions, combat corruption, build respect for human rights, and promote the continuing development of market economies.

Required Qualifications:

  • Fluency in Russian and English – written and spoken
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and with tight deadlines
  • Experience in organizing and implementing programs and projects
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Detail oriented
  • Excellent knowledge of Word, Excel and related computer programs

Preferred Qualifications:

  • EU Citizenship or right to work in the Czech Republic
  • Oral and written proficiency or fluency in Czech or Slovak
  • College or university degree
  • Experience working with not-for profit organizations, or with the travel/hotel industry or event management
  • Energetic and enthusiastic person with a good sense of humor

Responsibilities will include:

  • Providing assistance with the development and implementation of international legal assistance and training projects
  • Organizing all travel arrangements related to our programs and other events (over 50 events annually) for participants and faculty. This includes arranging air tickets and reservations, handling visa procedures, communicating with Czech and other Embassies worldwide, obtaining relevant participant insurance, accommodations, airport transfers etc.
  • Assisting with all aspects of program and event organization (to include preparation of supplies, materials and welcome packages, arranging the training facilities, technical equipment, catering and supporting social events, etc.)
  • Responding to special needs and requests of program participants
  • Assisting with other aspects of project design, management and delivery
  • Assisting with tasks related to the efficient function and management of the Institute’s operations, the operation of the office and of the physical premises.
  • Performing other duties as needed

We offer:

  • Dynamic position in international environment
  • Flexible, informal and open-minded work culture in an organization, which is respected in international community of legal professionals
  • Opportunity to meet interesting professionals from the around world
  • Competitive salary
  • Long-term contract

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume in English to Šárka Michková at Sarka.Michkova@ceeli.eu

Annual Meeting 2017

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From July 9-11th, the CEELI Institute was delighted to host colleagues, board members, donors, alumni, and friends from around the world at the Villa Grebovka in Prague for the Institute’s Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting was at once a celebration of the Institute’s many proud achievements in the past twelve months and a forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

This year’s meeting brought together thought leaders from both the public and private sectors to continue the important work of developing effective strategies for support of international efforts aimed at supporting and advancing the rule of law. In particular, participants sought to address the unprecedented challenges that Europe and its environs are facing in implementing and sustaining the Rule of Law. The past year has seen a rise in anti-democratic political trends, repeated attacks on judicial independence and the role of the courts, harassment of lawyers, journalists, and civil society actors, and restrictions on the operation of the press in Europe and around the globe. At this critical time, the Institute and its supporters remain committed to identifying strategies and tools that will be effective in responding to threats to democracy and the rule of law.

Our full-day session on July 10th included panel discussions, presentations, and program updates. In the morning, Tanya Lokshina, Russia Program Director at Human Rights Watch, Rodger Potocki, Senior Director, Europe, at the National Endowment for Democracy, Mykhailo Zhernakov, Director at the DeJuRe Foundation, and Marek Svoboda, Director of Programs at the CEELI Institute, led participants in a discussion about Assaults on Judicial Independence, Civil Society, and Rule of Law Reform in Europe. The Institute was then honored to welcome a delegation of young Palestinian and Israeli legal professionals to present on an ongoing initiative jointly led by the CEELI Institute and the Israeli Bar Association, which brings together a outstanding young lawyers from relevant communities in the Middle East to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role that international law can play in resolving it. Next, the group heard updates on various judicial training programs the CEELI Institute is leading around the world and on the Institute’s work on the Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe. In the afternoon, a second panel, comprised of Maryann Clifford, former Chief Ethics and Compliance Office at BP, Alexander Juden, Secretary and General Counsel at Schlumberger Ltd., Teresa Jenkins, Head of Rule of Law Development at LexisNexis, and Jennifer Gaspar, Director of Special Programs at the CEELI Institute, shared their thoughts on The Role of Business in Supporting the Rule of Law. After a productive day of discussion, it was apparent to all that it is crucial–now more than ever–for civil society and the NGO community to leverage partnerships with businesses and the corporate world in order to pursue shared interests in creating law-based societies. On July 11th, the Institute’s Management and Supervisory boards had a successful joint meeting, and laid the groundwork for a number of new projects and strategic objectives.

The Annual Meeting was also an opportunity to welcome colleagues in a congenial setting. At our opening barbeque dinner on the Villa’s back terrace, guests were able to enjoy live music, great weather, and exquisite views of Prague, making it truly an evening to remember.

The CEELI Institute staff were thrilled with the level of participation and quality of discussion, and wish to sincerely thank everyone who came to the Meeting and who continue to support the Institute and its mission.

2017 Conference of Chief Justices of Central & Eastern Europe –Budapest, Hungary, June 4-7, 2017

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The CEELI Institute was delighted to again join in supporting the Seventh Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe, hosted in Budapest by the Supreme Court of Hungary from June 4-7, 2017.  The Conference itself was launched in Prague, at the Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of State, and with the commitment of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Conference is now a self-sustaining body that meets annually in one of the countries represented, and provides the opportunity for the Chief Justices to discuss common challenges, share ideas, and work towards solutions. Front and center among this year’s discussions were the ongoing challenges to judicial independence that continue to be seen and felt across the region.

The Conference continues to flourish and since its inception has rotated between member states, each year hosted by a Chief Justice from a different country. Conferences over the past several years have been hosted by Chief Justices from Albania (2012), Montenegro (2013), the Republic of Georgia (2014), Croatia (2015), and Serbia (2016). The 2018 Conference will be hosted in Vilnius by the Supreme Court of Lithuania.  The CEELI Institute is delighted to continue to play an active and important role in the organization and continuity of this program.

Among the achievements of the Conference has been the signing, in 2015, of the Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary, known now as the Brijuni Statement (after the seaside town in Croatia where the 2015 Conference was held). The Brijuni Statement is modeled after a similar effort undertaken by the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific, which resulted in the adoption of the Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary in 1995. The Brijuni Statement is a reaffirmation of a long-held and shared belief amongst its signatories in judicial independence and the obligation to uphold the rule of law. The CEELI Institute is gratified to be able to support the publication and distribution of the Brijuni Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary, and the Statement has been available on the CEELI Institute website. It joins other useful legal instruments addressing judicial independence, the drafting of which have been supported by the CEELI Institute, including the Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of Justice: A Thematic Compilation of International Standards, Policies and Best Practices.

Roundtable: Supporting Syrian Judges 

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The CEELI Institute organized a roundtable with Syrian judges currently living in Turkey, where they sought exile after fleeing the conflict and with it the increasing government and military interference in their duties. While some of them remain active in work of international organizations focused on maintaining basic public records of births, death, marriages etc., all of them are looking ahead at possible scenarios that might occur in Syria after the imminent conflict ends.  The CEELI Institute roundtable, organized together with the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC), looked at some of the challenges and scenarios that took place in other countries following an armed conflict (including Bosnia i Herzegovina and Croatia), and the difficult work ahead, including reconstructing land and personal registries, public administration, and – ultimately – the functioning and trust in the judiciary as such. These steps will have to take place in some form whatever the exact political outcome of the post-war order will be, and to compare experience from other countries can help build the expertise and readiness of Syrian judges as actors in this effort.