PFP finalist Ion Guzun's experience in New York city
May, 9 2014
- On May 2nd I participated in the orientation session at The Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law, then had a business lunch with Mrs. Alicia Bannon (Counsel, Democracy Program) and attending two sessions on Coalitions and Pools moderated by Alicia Bannon. The same day I met John Kowal, Program Vice-president.May 3rd-4th I managed to explore NY and its interesting museums and the Central Park.
- 5 May - meeting with Jonathan Brater and Lopez Thomas and Democracy Program. The main issues of discussions were about the electoral system in USA, right to vote, right to vote for persons with the criminal records. Study of prevalence of contributors appearing before judges. Research in the office: some materials regarding the “merit selection” system of selecting judges. “Merit Selection Explained” and “Merit Selection: Some Facts” are short informational sheets explaining how the system works and some evidence of its advantages. The first attachment is a map showing the different approaches to judicial selection to the state supreme court in different states. 23 states use the merit selection method to select their supreme court, although some additional states make use of it in a lesser capacity. “Improving Judicial Diversity” is a report authored by the Brennan Center on the interaction between the merit selection system and the creation of a diverse judiciary. The report culminates in a series of ten best practices for a non-discriminatory merit selection process.
- 6 May – I was introduced to the Brennan Centre’ team by John Kowal, vice president for programs. A general description of the PFP Program and about mu professional experience was provided. Weekly meeting of the Democracy Program team. The main discussed issues included: (i) recusals of judges (ii) judicial vacancies and (iii) nomination of judges. Discussion on the Symposium which will be organized by the Brennan Centre in November on recusals. Meeting of the Voting Rights and Election (VRE) team. The main discussed issues included: (i) Affirmative VRM campaigns, (ii) Electronic registration, (iii) Litigation (iv) forward-thinking work (early voting, student voting). Was presented the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. McCutcheon is the latest in a line of cases in which the Roberts Court struck down a campaign finance law regulating how much big money can flow into political races.
- 7 May –meeting of the Democracy Program team. The main discussed issues included: (i) symposium update (ii) New Jersey task force on judicial independence.
- 8 May – weekly meeting of the Liberty and National Security team.
- 10 – 11 May – with my colleague within the PFP we travelled to the Niagara Falls (NY). Long but interesting trip. Impressive.
- May 12. Mass incarceration initiative. The main discussed issues included: (i) crime rate cite check (ii) MacArthur Racial disparities Conference.
- Discussion with Dr. Oliver Roeder on the unpublished research "What caused the American crime decline? Fourteen popular theories, including incarceration and policing."
- During the week of 12 to 16 May, several meetings were held separately with Democracy Programme's staff on the above issues. The scope of the meetings was to understand in details the progress, developments and challenges in these fields, including the similarities and differences between Moldovan and US legal framework and practices.
- May 19 - Business lunch with the team of the Brennan Center for Justice - Presentation my professional experience in Moldovan and the Legal Resources Centre (annexed)
- May 20 - I was invited and participated at the One to World 2014 Fulbright Awards Dinner (http://www.one-to-world.org/content/view/140/208/)
- May 20 - 21 - work in office on the out outbound project. Design the concept.
- May 22 - Meeting with Rober Varenik, Program manager at the OSI New York. The main discussed issues included the experience of the OSI New York in the following areas: (i) amicus curiae (ii) strategic litigation and the ECtHR cases (iii) advocacy activities.
- May 23 - Meeting with Alicia Bannon, Counsel, the Democracy Program team. The main discussed issues included: (i) amicus curiae (ii) court administration (iii) Judicial vacancies (iv) case loads.
- May 23 - Meeting with Mr. Kowal, vice-president of the Brennan Center. During the meeting was discussed about the main issued to be covered in the outbound project activities:
- 1. Amicus Curiae
- 2. Recusals
- 3. Judicial vacancies
- 4. Lobby and advocacy.