In a year when the rule of law has faced challenges across the globe, the CEELI Institute’s programs have continued to provide world-class training and skills development to legal professionals dedicated to promoting judicial independence, protecting fundamental rights and individual liberties, combatting official corruption, and otherwise strengthening the rule of law. Today, the CEELI Institute is reaching more people, in more countries, than ever before.
We use Villa Grebovka, our unique facility and location, not only to continue to conduct established, innovative training programs, but also to develop and incubate new projects. As in years past, the Institute provides programmatic lifelines to lawyers working to protect the rule of law and promote human rights in repressive countries. The Institute also continues its core focus on promoting judicial independence, which it does through work with young judges, support for judges fighting to maintain independence and integrity, and ongoing support for the annual conference of Chief Justices of Central Europe, which the Institute launched several years ago.
The CEELI Institute’s interactive anti-corruption courses continue to be over-subscribed. Early in 2018, we will inaugurate a training program on anti-corruption compliance programs, a complement to our signature course for prosecutors and investigators. A UN official who recently visited the Institute reported that the Institute’s anti-corruption training programs “are considered to be the best in Europe.”
In partnership with the International Bar Association, the CEELI Institute has also continued its successful project of bringing together courageous young Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, who have become professional and personal friends and who have together analyzed difficult legal and political issues that persist in the Middle East. Other Institute initiatives this year have included work with exiled Syrian judges hoping to return to rebuild their country, organizing judicial exchanges with Indian judges, and, with European Commission funding, creating a partnership with the Croatian Judges Association to provide regional judicial training on relevant EU criminal law directives.
The work of the Institute has resulted in expanded donor recognition and support for both long-standing projects and new initiatives. Supporters include a number of new organizations and, for the first time, an expanded base of European donors. Increased programmatic support has allowed us to broaden the scope of our course offerings, strengthen their impact, and increase the number of participants we are able to reach.
Over the last year, the Institute updated its mission statement and its governance structure, making several distinguished additions to our governing boards and to our talented staff in Prague. We also continue to be deeply grateful to the accomplished, public-spirited faculties of our programs whose dedication and expertise empower the rule of law work of the CEELI Institute.
We thank them and all of the friends of the CEELI Institute for your continued support for joining in the vital work of building and strengthening the rule of law. That work has never been more important.
Homer E. Moyer, Jr.
Founder and Chairman of the Board, The CEELI Institute