Georgia Law embarks on training program for Middle Eastern judges

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Writer: Cindy H. Rice, 706/542-5172, cindyh@uga.edu
Contact: Don Johnson, 706/542-5135, johnsocd@uga.edu
María Giménez, 706/542-5138, mgimenez@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk Center’s International Judicial Training Program has partnered with the Dubai Judicial Institute to begin training judges, lawyers and court officials from the Middle East.

The IJTP seeks to promote capacity-building judicial administration programs and is co-sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Continuing Judicial Education.

This is the first time the IJTP has traveled outside of the United States to conduct on-site instruction, and according to Rusk Center Director C. Donald Johnson, the timing could not be better.

“Despite the current recession, Dubai remains the center of international finance in the Middle East,” Johnson said. “The judges there use a unique blend of Sharia and civil law and are trying to mold it to better fit Dubai’s expanding international trade and financial industries. They are also trying to acquire a variety of best practices from the common law system, which is where we come in.”

The IJTP held three days of training in November for 30 members of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain judiciary. The main focus was case management.

“Case management is one of the major problems many countries are facing,” Rusk Center Associate Director and IJTP Co-director María E. Giménez said. “The dockets are growing rapidly, creating a great need for leadership and training in this area.”

Johnson added that Dubai’s judiciary is also interested in learning more about how America handles real estate law, intellectual property law and health law.

“The plan is to do another program next year and invite judicial members from the entire Middle East, where we will address those three areas of law as well as other judicial issues,” Johnson said. “We are also hoping to bring over professors from the School of Law who specialize in these areas to help lead the sessions.”

The Rusk Center is also currently working with the Indian Judicial Institute to host similar programs for members of their judiciary.

##

Note to editors: Photos from the training sessions at the Dubai Judicial Institute are available upon request. Please contact Cindy Rice at cindyh@uga.edu for more information.