By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: The United States Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) held a joint workshop with the Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies (KIJLS) titled “Judicial Principles and Application - A Judicial Conference” at KIJLS center on Monday. The workshop was at the presence of the Councilor Hani Al-Hamdan, United States’ Deputy Chief of Mission to Kuwait James Holtsnider, Councilor Adnan Al-Jaser and judges from Kuwait, United States, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

During the opening remarks, Hamdan said that this conference represents the ongoing cooperation between the institute and OPDAT, adding this workshop is held to exchange specialized knowledge in the legal and judicial fields. He also mentioned this workshop will be rich in important topics and issues related to judicial rulings and their applications. Therefore, it is a real contribution to development in this field, especially as the US Department of Justice has shown great interest in this conference and has sent a number of competent and high-level judges to attend it.

“Today’s conference aims to enhance modern means of sharing culture and experiences in the field of legal issues. The participants’ contributions will enrich the discussion and enhance the presentation,” he said. Holtsnider said that this the second time for him to have the opportunity to participate in this conference and the second time to have three honorable judges joining. “The conference is going to be about sharing traditional ideas between the two countries. From the American judges, we will get a chance to hear about American constitutional law, traditional independence and traditional authority.

The American system is divided into three parts: Congress that writes and creates the law, the executive that administers and executes the law, and the judiciary that is able to make decisions and exercise authorities,” he explained. Hamdan told the press that this time, judges from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also participated, and this is part of Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies’ efforts to become a regional training center in the Arabian Gulf. This collaboration from the US Embassy has yielded results, with the participation of Saudi and Bahraini judges.

A part of the institute’s message and objectives is to establish and spread legal culture, enhance judges’ skills and strengthen their experiences through interaction. Holtsnider added this training program is beneficial for both Kuwait and the US because it is a chance for both sides’ judges, and judges from Saudi and Bahrain as well, to share their experiences and learn how things are done in other countries. “Sometimes there are solutions in some countries that cannot apply very easily to others.

The main goal is to train the judges and build the relationship between the four countries. Obviously, the United States and Kuwait have a strong relationship, but to add in our colleagues and friends from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is also very good. Sometimes people ask about the applicability of law in different countries. It is an area where we can learn from each other, even in a different system. Learning and continuing professional education is the most important part,” he pointed out.