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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 7, 2009


Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan Hosts Afghan Women Lawyers Training Conference in the United States

The U.S. Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, working in close collaboration with the American legal community, will host a group of 14 prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in Riverside, California and Washington, DC, from January 9-24. Under the leadership of the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Dr. Kerry Healey, and United States District Judge Stephen G. Larson of the Central District of California, the women will participate in two weeks of intensive legal seminars, roundtable events, and consultations with senior officials from the State of California and the U.S. Government, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. During these sessions, the women will explore current topics in the Afghan and American legal systems, legal decision-making and mediation, domestic violence, and family, mental health, and narcotics law, while gaining hands-on exposure to the American judicial system.

Launched by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in December 2007, the Public-Private Partnership has received pledges exceeding $1.3 million in monetary and in-kind contributions. The Public-Private Partnership is co-chaired by David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and Robert C. O’Brien, a partner at Arent Fox LLP and former U.S. Alternate Representative to the United Nations.

This effort is possible through the financial and in-kind contributions of the law firms of Akin Gump, Arent Fox, Bingham, the Law Offices of Don Edgar, Irell & Manella, Jones Day, Korbel Media, Quinn Emanuel, Shernoff Bidart Darras & Echeverria, Vinson & Elkins and former Ambassador Thomas A. Schweich, as well as the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court, the Embassy of Afghanistan, the Federal Bar Association (Riverside), the Riverside and San Bernardino county bar associations, Loyola College, La Verne College of Law, The George Washington University School of Law, and the Federal Judicial Center. Duane and Kelly Roberts, proprietors of the historic Mission Inn, have contributed lodging, meeting space, and food for the delegation in Riverside, California.

Electronic Access via Internet
More information about the Public-Private Partnership is available for download from the State Department website at http://www.state.gov/p/inl/partnership/index.htm

Press Contacts:

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Susan Pittman
202-647-2842

Office of Press Relations
202-647-2492

2009/018

Released on January 7, 2009

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