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Why did three Serbian prosecutors come to New England Law | Boston to meet with faculty?

As part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, Ivan Konatar, Boris Pavlovic, and Branislav Lepotic came to New England Law for much the same reason students do: to learn from faculty with deep, real-world knowledge.

The three were in Boston to study judicial and prosecutorial efficiency in the United States, so they met with Professor Barbara Dortch-Okara, a former Chief Judge of the Trial Courts of the Commonwealth with twenty-eight years’ experience on the bench; Professor Victor Hansen, a former military lawyer with two decades’ prosecutorial and defense experience; Professor Dina Haynes, a former Department of Justice lawyer and trainer of prosecutors in Serbia, as well as an expert on human rights in post-conflict societies; and Professor David Siegel, a former public defender who has trained judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers in several countries. Haynes and Siegel regularly file amicus briefs and continue to handle pro bono work through the Center for Law and Social Responsibility as well. 

Serbian guests visit New England Law

From left to right: Branislav Lepotic, Ivan Konatar, Professor Victor Hansen, Professor Barbara Dortch-Okara, Professor Dina Haynes, Professor David Siegel, and Boris Pavlovic

In a wide-ranging, two-hour exchange on March 15, 2018, these New England Law faculty discussed the process in the U.S. for selecting prosecutors and judges, controls on their actions and their operations, and their obligations in specific situations.

Serbia, which was part of the former Yugoslavia, is undergoing a shift from a civil law system to one with greater adversarial features. This made the visitors especially interested in how the adversarial mechanisms in the U.S. function in practice, which is what the four New England faculty members teach on a daily basis.    

This visit was sponsored by New England Law's Center for International Law and Policy and its Center for Law and Social Responsibility.