CGR Conference To Examine ‘Judicial Reform & Rule Of Law’

Published: March 31st, 2003

Category: News

Top legal and policy experts from throughout Florida and Latin America are expected to participate April 13-14 in a unique “roundtable conference” here organized by the law school’s Center for Governmental Responsibility (CGR). Panelists and commentators will face the challenge of designing a blueprint for establishment of a “Center for Judicial Reform and Rule of Law in the Americas,” a UF initiative to be housed in the Levin College of Law. “This is our fourth annual Legal & Policy Issues in the Americas conference,” said Dean Jon Mills, who established CGR in 1972 and has since served as director. “It is particularly significant because the participants will help usher us into a new phase of our relationships in the Americas.” The proposed center is based on the concept that a democracy without an effective judiciary governed by the rule of law inhibits the capacity of its citizens to enjoy basic freedoms and discourages the international community from investing in the future of the country. The UF team proposes a university-based program designed to collaborate with sister universities throughout the Americas to implement a program that strengthens the rule of law in the region. Collaborators include the Justice Studies Center of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, which joined with CGR, the UF Warrington College of Business Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Florida Journal of International Law as conference sponsors. “Our panelists and commentators are wellqualified to assist us in development of this new venture,” said Mills. “Participants represent 14 international universities from eight countries; six international organizations; eight private law firms; five international businesses; five U.S. universities; and 12 UF academic departments.” Conference panels are organized on the topics of rule of law, civil justice reform, criminal law, comparative constitutional approaches, human rights commitments and judicial reform. Each roundtable session will feature a panel presentation followed by responses from distinguished commentators invited by Dean Mills to assist in the development of the center’s blueprint. Among distinguished panelists and commentators are former ABA President Martha Barnett; MetLife Senior Vice President Christine Markussen; attorney Robert G. Kerrigan; international businessman Everett J. Santos; former circuit judge and mediation specialist John Upchurch; former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno; UF International Center Dean Dennis Jett; former Florida Governor and U.S. Envoy to the Americas Buddy MacKay; Chief Superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Peter German; former National Ombudsman of Peru Jorge Santistevan de Noriega; Director of UF’s Center for Latin American Studies Charles Wood; and law school deans and professors from Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, West Indies, Chile and the United Kingdom. UF law faculty involved in the conference are Michael Gordon, Fletcher Baldwin, Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol, Stephen Powell, Timothy McLendon, Don Peters and Jeff Wade, as well as members of the law school’s international advisory committee. “Since the conference is organized as a roundtable discussion, limited spaces are available to the public as observers for the Monday session,” said conference organizer and CGR Development Director JoAnn Klein. “You must pre-register to attend, since a working lunch is part of the program and space is limited.” Sessions will be held at UF’s Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center. Additional details and registration are available through Lenny Kennedy of CGR (392.2237 or

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