September/October 2007 issue

Continuing Legal Education, Case Management, and the Rule of Law


by Circuit Judge Myron Bright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

I recently returned from a ten day “Rule of Law” visit to the courts of Middle East countries under the sponsorship of the United States State Department. I was accompanied by Mira Gur-Arie, the Chief of the International Division of the Federal Judicial Center.

The goal for our visit was to exchange views about the activities of the international courts with those of the United States, including education of judges and staff. The United States courts as well as the American Bar Association and the International Judicial Relations Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, of which I was a member for seven years, have provided and offered assistance to courts abroad for several years.

We visited Israel, Jordan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the University of Sharjah College of Law, the last three in the United Arab Emirates ("UAE"). We visited and exchanged views with judges, court administrators, law students, government officials, and lawyers in those countries, including American lawyers in the UAE. The embassy in Israel and the consul in the UAE seemed pleased with the visits. I am only the third U.S. judge to visit the courts in the UAE.

Judge Bright presented a program on the trip in the Rodney Webb Ceremonial Courtroom on Thursday, October 11th. Many people from both court offices and the U.S. Attorney’s office were in attendance.