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Gender & the judiciary program in Bosnia

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mel Flanagan delivers a PowerPoint presentation (in Bosnian), as she addresses judges from Bosnia and Herzegovina on gender, race and ethnic bias in the courts.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mel Flanagan delivers a PowerPoint presentation (in Bosnian), as she addresses judges from Bosnia and Herzegovina on gender, race and ethnic bias in the courts.

Judges from Bosnia and Herzegovina listen to Judge Mel Flanagan discuss gender and the judiciary. Flanagan wore headphones and had to wait for translation before responding to questions. The translator’s booth is located at the rear of the room.

Judges from Bosnia and Herzegovina listen to Judge Mel Flanagan discuss gender and the judiciary. Flanagan wore headphones and had to wait for translation before responding to questions. The translator's booth is located at the rear of the room.

By Judge Mel Flanagan, Milwaukee County Circuit Court

In March I traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to teach judges on the topic of gender, race and ethnic bias in the courts. The programs were held in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Travinik and were sponsored by the Atlantic Initiative, Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces Center for Security, Development & The Rule of Law, and the U.S. Department of Justice. They brought together judges from around the country to discuss conscious and unconscious bias and to release a research report on the status of these issues within the national court system. The research represents the first of its kind in BiH and the Balkans region and is very helpful in delineating how bias can, and does, impact the procedural and substantive treatment of men and women in court proceedings. This concern has not previously been addressed in the courts of BiH. I was asked to speak on how courts in the U.S. have dealt with similar issues.

In working with the judges from all regions of BiH, from large and small jurisdictions, I was very impressed with their commitment to equal justice and to identifying and addressing how issues of bias may impede that goal. The judges of BiH that I had the privilege of working with have the same goals that we have in our courts. They share our commitment to fairness and neutrality in all court proceedings and are working diligently to ensure this throughout their court system.

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Bridget Bauman, a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Children's Court Improvement Program, presented at the annual Court Improvement Program grantees conference in New Orleans on April 29.

Bridget Bauman, a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Children's Court Improvement Program, presented at the annual Court Improvement Program grantees conference in New Orleans on April 29. Bauman presented on the efforts that the Wisconsin court system has taken to improve full implementation of the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA), including the WICWA Judicial Checklist, circuit court forms, and the WICWA Continuous Quality Improvement Project.

Bridget Bauman, a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Children’s Court Improvement Program, presented at the annual Court Improvement Program grantees conference in New Orleans on April 29. Bauman presented on the efforts that the Wisconsin court system has taken to improve full implementation of the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA), including the WICWA Judicial Checklist, circuit court forms, and the WICWA Continuous Quality Improvement Project.

Wisconsin State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer, who is also a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves, is pictured here, front row, second from left, with colleagues in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a class of Naval officers from Eastern European countries. Tessmer served her annual military duty this spring in Riga, Latvia. Tessmer, a legalman, was part of a three-member team who spent a week at the National Defense Institute in late February. Her Reserve Unit is involved in maritime partnership programs with several countries in Europe and in Africa. Tessmer gave presentations on maritime interdiction operations and counter piracy. The class was composed of naval officers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. While in Riga, Tessmer had the opportunity to tour Old Town and try some of the local cuisine. She said she particularly enjoyed Janu siers, a cheese made with caraway seeds and served with Rupjmaize, a dark rye bread.