The last few weeks have been a mix of projects and events for me (continuing off what I mentioned in my first post) …
Back in November of last year (2020), CEELI launched a Spotlight series on the topic of “Judiciaries in Peril in Central & Eastern Europe.” The webinars highlight the state of the judiciary in various countries across Central and Eastern Europe—exploring pressing issues and challenges faced in the particular countries that undermine and imperil that nation’s judiciary. Before I joined the team, the series had already explored Bulgaria, Poland, Montenegro, and Romania. Since my arrival, I have been able to attend the latest two webinars, which focused on Ukraine and Hungary. The events are held primarily in English, with simultaneous translations available for speakers and listeners. I am always amazed at the ability of translators to both listen and speak at the same time, overlapping/dubbing the speakers seamlessly. And although there was a technical glitch that caused some issues in the most recent webinar, that just reminds us of the need to be flexible and patient in this world of digital platforms.
Check out the Spotlight series here: https://ceeliinstitute.org/spotlight-series-judiciaries-in-peril-in-central-eastern-europe/
I have also been working on compiling the biographies for speakers at this year’s Annual Network Conference as well as the guests being used for the Digital Justice Podcast. This has given me even greater insight into the type of faculty CEELI works with when implementing their training programs – experiences across all realms of the legal world: leading judges, civil society actors, and representatives of international institutions that advance the rule of law.
On the Digital Justice Podcast itself, I have been listening to transcripts from speaker interviews recorded for the five-week course that was held this spring (Digital Justice in Central and Eastern Europe – Achieving Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness). My job entails highlighting portions that convey both important information and personal stories for future audiences to relate to as they listen, narrowing down all of the fantastic material provided to more manageable, bite-size audio clips. This has been a task of training my ears to accented English and audio recordings. Building on my previous statement about the expertise and quality of the faculty CEELI brings in, I want to highlight how often the speakers are working in their second or third or more language when they give talks (and write papers/guidelines!). It just makes me reflect on how spoiled and fortunate I am to have English be the lingua franca of today’s world. Since the four-episode podcast series is still in production-mode, I will wait to give more details until later this summer…at which point I will hopefully be able to provide the link for you to listen along!
There are also other little editing or analysis tasks that pop up every day to keep me busy as well, so I get a good mixture of activities to rotate through like a sampler platter. And just like the evolving nature of my work, so seems to be the case with my chances of travel and official Czech opinion on the matter – my optimism for a July in Prague is still high. Stay tuned.