June programming is in full swing here at CEELI! Everybody has been a little frantic, trying to make sure everything is done and ready to go, and I'm glad I've been able to be of assistance during this hectic time. This week, CEELI hosted a group of judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals from the Western Balkan states, as well as a few from the US, for a counterterrorism roundtable seminar. The Western Balkan region includes Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. This three-day program consisted of lectures, group discussions, small group activities, and role plays - all to give the Balkan judges tips and practices to use when trying terrorist suspects in their home countries. American judges were able to give their experience working with terrorism cases, and each Balkan country was able to give an overview of their history, experience with, and tools used when dealing with the prosecution of alleged terrorists.
This program took on a special meaning for me, as its beginning coincided with the terrorist act in Orlando, FL this week. While terrorism is constantly an issue that needs to be dealt with worldwide, its effects and atrocities have become more apparent than ever for me as the US struggles to deal with the aftermath of the mass shooting. Even in light of this tragedy, it has been uplifting to see individuals from different parts of the world come together here at CEELI to try to address the legal issues surrounding terrorism in this day and age.
Outside of the counterterrorism program, I've been working on a research report about the current political and judicial crises in Macedonia. Macedonia is currently in a state of great unrest, with its citizens rigorously protesting the corruption and illegal activities of the past and current governments. In January of last year, it was revealed that the government had been illegally wiretapping its citizens and participating in widespread corruption across the nation. Deals brokered by the EU have been unsuccessful in quelling the corruption and the protests, causing Macedonia to slip further away from a democratic future. After spending three months in Slovenia, and now time in the Czech Republic, I'm excited to be able to learn even more about central and eastern European countries and the political and legal problems they face.
La Bohème Café - http://www.labohemecafe.cz/
This week I thought I'd share with you my absolute favorite cafe in Prague! (I mean, they're all wonderful and amazing, but this one is extra special). La Bohème is located in the Vinohrady district, about a 10-15 min walk from my apartment. It was actually the first coffee shop I went to after arriving in Prague, and since then I go at least 2-3 times a week. The atmosphere and decor are breathtaking - wide open spaces, comfy chairs and couches to sit in, books and coffee cups scattered all around. It is so peaceful and cozy! Their coffee is excellent - they roast their own blends, have a cold brew iced coffee system, and even offer almond and coconut milk for their lattes. Basically, La Bohème is my heaven.