Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Seven Libyan Judges Learn About Ohio Supreme Court, American Legal System

Image of seven Libyan judges and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Chief Justice O’Connor with the Libyan judicial delegation in the Courtroom of the Moyer Judicial Center.

Image of seven Libyan judges and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Chief Justice O’Connor with the Libyan judicial delegation in the Courtroom of the Moyer Judicial Center.

For the first time, the Ohio Supreme Court today welcomed a delegation of judges from Libya in a visit designed for them to learn about the U.S. system of justice.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor led the welcoming party and spoke about the interplay of the three branches of government. “The main point I want to make to you is that while the judicial branch is an independent branch from the other two, it is still interdependent in many ways,” she said. The Chief Justice also said she looked forward to a presentation scheduled next week at which the Libyan officials will describe their judiciary.

Located in Northern Africa, The State of Libya is home to more than 6 million people. In 2011, a civil war and NATO-led military intervention ended in the death of former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of his regime. As a result, Libya is governed by a temporary constitution and is undergoing political reconstruction and reform. Plans to draft a new constitution are in process and will be put to a referendum when completed. Following the professional training program, the delegates will return to Libya with new ideas, skills, and contacts to help put these concepts to practice.

For more than 20 years, the Ohio Supreme Court has worked with lawyers, judges, legislators, and government officials from abroad to learn the basics of the U.S. legal structure and receive an overview of the Supreme Court and Ohio’s judiciary. Groups from the Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Serbia have traveled to Ohio over the last decade as their governments have undergone transitions and/or undertaken developing independent judiciaries.

Delegates stay with local families in order to experience American family life. They participate in several cultural and community activities that are designed to expose them to the wide array of U.S. customs and pastimes including visiting popular locales in the area, attending sporting events, and sampling restaurants. The Libyan group plans to go bowling, shop at an antique mall in Hocking Hills, and tour two college campuses.

Also as part of their three-week orientation, the Libyan judges will tour the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center, observe Supreme Court oral arguments, and travel to several local courts.

The visit is sponsored by the Libyan government.

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