ILI is very excited to announce the launch of it's new website.  The website is very easy to read and navigate and offers many new, convenient functions that will help potential and past participants, faculty members and partnering institutions stay up to date on the activities of ILI.  The website has a brand new Alumni Forum to help colleagues stay in touch, pose questions to fellow alumni, and share relevant information. 

In tandem with the website launch, we have also started official ILI Facebook and LinkedIn pages and encourage all those interested to connect with us via our social networking sites.

 

On October 29 ILI gave a check for $1000 to Ms. Theresa Obot, Founding Director of the Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC) in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria to cover filing fees for the next two years.  ILI's Executive Director, Kim Phan said, "ILI is giving this donation to the Multi Door Court because $3 may not be very much to us, but it means that a battered woman will be able to be heard and have access to justice."  MDCs were started to help bring justice to all, but they have been particularly effective in helping women and children achieve equal access to justice.  These mediation centers charge $3 to file a case and have lawyers on staff, making justice accessible to those without the financial means to file in traditional courts.

Traditional courts refer cases to MDCs for mediation if they involve women and children.  If mediation does not resolve the issue, the case is referred back to the traditional court or to Family court, where the Child's Rights Law can be employed to protect both children and mothers.

Ms. Obot recently attended the Advanced Arbitration seminar at ILI with several of her colleagues from the MDC in Akwa Ibom State.  She gave a presentation outlining her experiences and inspired many of those in attendance to initiate the process in their own countries.  Participants from Malawi, Ghana and Tanzania invited Ms. Obot to come to their countries and speak about how to set up these courts. 

The Chief Justice of Akwa Ibom State is also an ILI Alum.

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Ms. Ileana Smeureanu, ILI Associate, represented the ILI at the International Law Weekend organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association in New York (October 21-23, 2010).  The theme of the meeting was "International Law and Institutions: Advancing Justice, Security and Prosperity". The event brought together numerous practitioners, members of the governmental and non-governmental sectors, and students. At the meeting, the ILI representative met with Dr. Branislav Srdanovic, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Serbia and Montenegro to the Kingdom of Denmark, Professor Michael Peil, Associate Dean for International Programs at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, Professor Lorraine M. Brennan, Senior Vice President of Programs at the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, and Ms. Victoria Shannon, ICC Deputy Director, Arbitration & ADR/ North America.

On October 6, 2010 Ms. Sharon Cromer, USAID's Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, lectured at the ILI during the Contract Administration seminar.

 

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She discussed several topics including USAID"s initiative to deliver financial assistance in a more effective way as well as the roles, responsibilities and authority in the administration of contracts.

Sharon Cromer is in charge of the Africa Bureau for USAID, a bureau that manages $6.3 billion annually in U.S. foreign assistance to Africa.  Prior to this position, she was the USAID Mission Director in Nigeria.  Sharon started her career as an intern at ILI while she was a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. The ability to interact with ILI participants during her internship helped her to focus her career on international development. 

ILI participants had the chance to effect policy by discussing the new initiative from the perspective of developing countries, their concerns and the opportunities.

John Niehuss, Director of ILI's Private Investment in Infrastructure Center and Senior Advisor, will be teaching Project Finance to second and third year law students at Peking University School of

Transnational Law in the spring of 2011.  John Niehuss is also a faculty member at teh University of Michigan School of Law where he teaches International Project Finance as well.  

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President of the Nigerian National Assembly and Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, met with ILI Executive Director Kim Phan, Chairman Don Wallace, and Ambassdor Steve Halloway, Director of ILI's Center for Comparative Legislative Management, on August 30, 2010 to discuss having ILI assist the National Assembly in setting up the proposed National Institute of Legislative Studies.  The Institute is designed to train the National Assembly, State Assemblies, and ECOWAS Parliament.  This collaboration will build upon ILI's extensive relationship with the National Assembly, and envisions the ILI conducting capacity building of legislators and staff in Washington, DC and in Nigeria, as well as offering technical assistance.  Areas of training will likely include Legislative Strategic Planning and Management, Legislative Drafting, Legal English and Legal Writing, the Budget Process and Congressional Reporting.

ILI is honored to be asked by the National Assembly to participate in the development of the National Institute of Legislative Studies. 

 

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The ABA Section of International Law has launched a program to help expand membership throughout the world.  Ms. Ileana Smeureanu, an ILI Associate, was recently appointed the ABA country representative for Romania. In this capacity, Ms. Smeureanu will serve as liaison between ABA and Romanian arbitration bars, and coordinate related projects.

ILI will host a presentation in the Rule of Law Informational Series of the ABA Section of International Law.  The presentation will be given by Ms. Kim Phan, Executive Director of ILI, and is scheduled for early 2011. Ms. Phan will speak about the history, current and future ILI projects, as well as the ILI experience in dealing with development through the rule of law.

On October 14, 2010 Ms. Angela Benson, ABA Membership Director, visited the ILI.  The ILI was represented by Professor Don Wallace, Ms. Kim Phan, Mr. Robert Sargin, Mr. Gerhard Botha and Ms. Ileana Smeureanu. The two organizations are in the process of formalizing a cooperation agreement to work together on various projects.