The Center for Democracy
May 15, 2002
Contact: Prof. Allen Weinstein
More than 140 chief justices and judges from the Supreme, Constitutional, and Arbitration Courts of Europe and the former Soviet Union, along with judicial observers from North America, South America, Africa and Asia, will convene at the Palais de l’Europe, headquarters of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France on May 22-24 for their tenth annual International Judicial Conference (IJC), Professor Allen Weinstein, President of the Washington-based Center for Democracy, announced today. The conference is organized, as in past years, by the Center and the Furth Family Foundation with the cooperation of the Council of Europe. The Conference Chairman since its inception has been Frederick P. Furth, Esq., Chairman of the Furth Family Foundation and a member of the Center’s Board of Directors.
The 2002 International Judicial Conference will focus on a special theme of “The Courts and Terrorism” and address judicial issues related to the search for and prosecution of terrorists. The attacks of September 11, as well as the increasing incidence of both domestic and international terrorism around the globe, call for serious debate on the judicial response to this problem. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, will officially open the conference on Thursday, May 23. Other top officials attending include Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Hans Christian Kruger, an IJC Co-Chair, and President Luzius Wildhaber of the European Court of Human Rights. Leading jurists from over 60 countries have confirmed their participation, including Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and Senior Judge Eugene R. Sullivan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Justices from Benin, Brazil, Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and several other Asian, African, and Latin American countries have also confirmed their attendance as observers.
The annual International Judicial Conference provides an opportunity for justices from transitional nations to develop their perspectives on issues affecting judicial independence while fostering contact and communication among the participants. The official conference languages are English, Russian and French.
The 2002 conference is the third IJC to be held in Strasbourg. Additional meeting sites have included Budapest, San Francisco, Moscow, Warsaw, and Washington, DC.