International Committee Adds to Growing List of Section Opportunities

Vol. 37 No. 2

At its October 2013 meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Council of the Section of State and Local Government Law formally approved the creation of an International Committee and named Benjamin E. Griffith as its first chair. Griffith is a Past-Chair of the Section and a member of the ABA House of Delegates.

The primary mission of the International Committee is to provide an international perspective and forum for programs, publications, seminar presentations and training meetings on local government law, municipal policy, and best practices for political subdivisions at the sub-state level.

In collaboration with other entities, the International Committee will develop and implement programs, publications, and joint efforts at the intersection of public law, government policy, and recognized principles of democratic governance, transparency, citizen access to government, and electoral accountability.

For example, International Committee activities may be developed similar to a Section-cosponsored program that took place in May 2012 at the Georgian American University in T’bilisi, Georgia, focusing on international election principles and electoral dispute resolution. Programs and training models may also be patterned after the Legislative Fellows Outbound Program during May–June 2013 in the Ukraine, sponsored by the American Council for International Education and the U.S. State Department, in which a member of our Section helped present programs to several university law schools and municipal officials in Kiev and Lviv, Ukraine, focusing on municipal best practices in the areas of open meetings, public records access, local government transparency, anti-corruption measures, and intergovernmental relations.

Committee membership is open to ABA members who have already joined the Section as well as members of other ABA entities such as the International Law Section. The committee may also consider and plan joint activities and programs with non-ABA entities with whom Section members have collaborated for many years, the International Municipal Lawyers Association and the World Jurist Association. WJA is in the discussion and planning stages for possible conferences in Beijing and T’bilisi, Georgia, in which members of the International Committee may have an opportunity to participate.

International Committee membership will also be open to our international colleagues working in this field of law who are associate members of the American Bar Association and affiliated with the Section of State and Local Government Law.

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