PRESERVING A FREE SOCIETY -“Governmental Power and the Rule of Law”


Join the International Bar Association and the Wilson Center on Thursday 19th April for Part One of a Six-Part Program. Guest speakers will include:

George J. Mitchell Jr.
Former Democratic Senator for Maine and Senate Majority Leader,
Special Envoy for Northern Ireland and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace

 Carla A. Hills
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Ford Administration),
Former United States Trade Representative (George H.W. Bush Administration)

Thomas B. Griffith
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (George W. Bush Administration)
Former Chief Legal Officer of the U.S. Senate

Moderator: Homer E. Moyer Jr.
Former Appointee in both Democratic and Republican Administrations and
Founder of the CEELI Institute, an independent Rule of Law Institute in Prague

The Seminar will look to address such questions as:

What is the appropriate role of each branch of government in safeguarding liberty and preserving the rule of law?  

What must officials of each branch do to ensure that the government respects the legal limits of its own power?  

On a day-to-day basis, what does the rule of law cause senior government officials to do – or refrain from doing? 

To what extent do unwritten rules and established traditions protect free societies and reinforce the rule of law?

Insight will be offered by some of the leading minds on the topics of Rule of Law and governmental power. Don’t miss your chance to take part in seminar one of this exciting series. You can RSVP here.



Training on Application of EU Instruments in Criminal Law


In February and April, the CEELI Institute hosted three sessions of a new program, focused on application of EU instruments in criminal justice. Organized in cooperation with the Association of Croatian Judges, the program brought together in total 83 criminal judges from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The program focuses on tools providing access to the full extent of rights guaranteed by EU law, specially on applying the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the Directives on the right to information in criminal proceedings, and the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings.

The program is led by Marin Mrčela, President of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) and Judge at the Croatian Supreme Court, and funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020).

FULLY BOOKED! Spring session of CEELI’s Anti-Corruption Course on the Investigation and Prosecution of Public Corruption Cases


The CEELI Institute is delighted to announce a spring session of our signature anti-corruption course on the investigation and prosecution of public corruption cases. This five-day, highly interactive training provides participants with a comprehensive framework for initiating and pursuing official corruption cases. The course will take place at the Villa Grebovka in Prague the week of April 23-27, 2018, and is designed to walk participants through the investigation of a case involving official corruption. Participants will work in small groups with a hypothetical case to develop their own investigation strategy, learning to use time-tested investigative tools and develop practical skills along the way. Participant efforts are augmented by expert guidance and instruction.

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 how to acquire and use legally collected electronic evidence
• Use invoices, payment ledgers, receipts, and 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
• Prepare and present a summary of their investigation, supported by the necessary evidence and considering possible defenses and challenges that would be faced at trial
• Consider non-investigative measures to prevent and expose official corruption

The Institute continues to bring together the world’s most experienced anti-corruption prosecutors, forensic accountants, and practitioners as faculty to design and teach this course.

We are confident that this is one of the best anti-corruption courses currently being offered. As one of the participants  noted: “This was an exceptional experience. There was complete understanding among participants, regardless of the differences between legal systems, and we all shared a mutual goal of preventing corruption through efficient and proactive investigation.“




More info here in the brochure below:

Download (PDF, 1.81MB)

Providing Lifelines for Syrian Judges in Exile


In April 2018, the CEELI Institute resumed a program in partnership with the Swedish-based International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC), focused on offering a professional lifeline to Syrian judges who are now in exile in Turkey but who hold on to the hope of one day returning to their country to rebuild the justice system.  Many of the exiled judges remain actively involved with international organizations that are working with refugees in Turkey, for example, by assisting with efforts to maintain basic public records of births, death, and marriages, in the absence of any formal mechanism for recording such crucial life events.  All of these Syrian judges are looking ahead to possible scenarios that might occur in Syria after the conflict ends.   

In April 2018, the Institute convened a program in Gaziantep, Turkey, to facilitate discussions among the judges and to explore core issues related to their role in the emerging post conflict society; where both the rule of law and democratic values will not be firmly established.  The special focus of this session was on constitutional issues related to the judiciary. Our goal is to promote discussion and engagement on the challenges Syrian judges face, and on the ways in which the judges can begin to prepare for their roles in an immediate post-conflict environment. The roundtable allowed us to frame priorities for further programmatic efforts, as we hope to continue and expand this work.  

At present, the Syrian judges feel cut off and removed from the larger world.  These efforts are intended to support their morale, and to also provide opportunities to engage with our networks of judges from other countries that have emerged from conflicts.  The CEELI Institute roundtable explored challenges and scenarios that took place in other countries following an armed conflict (including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia), and the difficult work ahead, including reconstructing land and personal registries, reestablishing public administration, and regaining public trust in the judiciary. Ultimately, the success of post conflict processes in Syria will depend on the expertise and readiness of Syrian judges as actors in this effort. The effort is funded by the Swedish International Development Administration (SIDA). 

Annual Meeting 2017


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.