In November 2012, the CEELI Institute launched the Central & Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network to support non-high court judges and court administrators working to improve judicial integrity and court efficiency. With financial support from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, CEELI brought together thirty-two men and women who have demonstrated in their work a commitment to improving judicial integrity and court efficiency. We believe that promoting best practices and helping these reform-minded individuals build a sense of solidarity will support their great work and ultimately enhance judicial integrity and public support for the judiciary in the region.
The C&EE Exchange is patterned on and has the backing of the Conference of Chief Justices of Central & Eastern Europe, an exchange network CEELI helped launch in which peer support has helped the Chief Justices combat inefficiency and corruption. Like the Conference, the C&EE Exchange includes a series of events at which members candidly discuss experiences with corruption and inefficiency and learn from international colleagues what practices have been successful. For example, in December, twenty-eight members of the Network attended a two-day Roundtable Conference, where they built solidarity and exchanged best practices. At the Roundtable, the members had access to additional legal experts from the Czech Republic and the United States. Members keep in contact with each other via the C&EE Exchange website and have continued access to international legal experts through Q&As that address members’ priority issues.