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Open World has come to Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, October 16
Eight lawyers, selected through a competition, will spend ten days in the USA to learn more about the American Court System. This project has been initiated by the Open World Leadership Center, a Washington based independent agency, which has now extended its exchange programmes to Georgia and other Eurasian Countries.

Georgia was selected as the first country to receive a delegation under the Open World expansion programme. The first delegation, which included lawyers and local government officials from Georgia, traveled to the US last year. According to the itinerary of the present trip, the Georgian lawyers will attend court sessions to learn how the jury system operates in the US. The participants will also observe law classes at different universities and meet US lawyers.

Speaking at the programme launch at Hotel Vere Palace, the Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy, Cynthia Whittlesey, said that the project was extremely important and timely, as the court system is being reformed in Georgia, and a jury system will be implemented soon. “This project is helping the judicial system reform in Georgia. I am convinced you will be able to take the best examples of the US judicial system and implement them in Georgia,” Whittlesey told the programme participants. The American Council’s Country Director, Timothy Blauvelt, congratulated the participants and stressed the importance of the Open World project. Blauvelt said the project has been “especially successful in Georgia.”

44-year-old Mamuka Nozadze, a judge at Tbilisi City Court, is among the winners of the Open World programme competition. He said the programme would enable him to obtain more experience and expressed the hope that this would help him make his work more efficient. “The jury system is going to be implemented in Georgia soon and it will be especially interesting and useful to see how it operates in the USA. I hope that after returning to Georgia I will be able to share my experience with my Georgian colleagues,” Nozadze said.

Since 1999, Open World has brought nearly 12,000 political and civic leaders from Eurasian countries to the United States to experience American civil society, enhance their professional skills and establish lasting ties with their US counterparts. The delegations are mostly focused on specific themes, including Local Governance, Rule of Law, Education and Social Services.