Today was the last day of our criminal justice study tour! We had our final wrap-up meeting, which I transcribed. It was great to hear from our visiting judges about their thoughts on our justice system and the tour overall. Funnily enough, when we asked which aspects they wanted to implement back in Kazakhstan, the most popular answer was actually the "husher," a device that creates white noise to prevent people from hearing confidential matters.
The judges really liked how American judges "play the role of a referee" rather than the more active role judges play in inquisitorial systems. Similarly, they also had a lot of good things to say about juries in the US (which was quite different from the complaints I normally hear about juries). They especially appreciated that juries are able to submit their questions to the judge so that the judge can ask them. One judge noted that after spending the week learning about our justice system in America, he had more questions than he started with—which I found very relatable as a rising 2L!
After the final meeting, we had a farewell dinner at a Georgian restaurant in DC. It was great to visit with everyone in a more relaxed setting—and the food was amazing! I didn't take photos, but by the end of the dinner, the table was overflowing with different dishes and everyone was singing (or trying to follow along to) Kazakh songs. It was a great end to the tour.
Next week we have another study tour, which will concern administrative law. I'm excited to meet our next group!