On October 7, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) hosted a half-day symposium exploring global perspectives on criminal law reform. About 50 people attended the event in person while another 84 people tuned in to a live webcast of the discussions. ABA ROLI Director Elizabeth Andersen opened the symposium by welcoming speakers and attendees. Jessie Tannenbaum and Ashley Martin of ABA ROLI presented a comparative analysis of criminal defense advocacy in the Balkans and shared details about ABA ROLI’s U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program in the region.
Two panel discussions—one on criminal law reforms in the Balkans and the region’s integration into the European Union, and another on transitions from an inquisitorial to an adversarial criminal justice system, highlighting the experiences of Rwanda, Ukraine, the Balkans and Latin America—followed. Suren Avanesyan, senior advisor with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Madeleine Crohn, senior manager of the Open Society Justice Initiative’s Global Campaign for Pre-trial Justice, Peter J. Messitte, senior U.S. district judge for the District of Maryland, Metodija A. Koloski, president of United Macedonian Diaspora, Olga Ruda, deputy director of ABA ROLI’s Research and Assessments Office, Jean-Marie Kamatali, assistant professor of law at Ohio Northern University, Shawna Wilson, Justice Team leader at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and Mary Greer, senior criminal law advisor with ABA ROLI spoke at the event.