NCSC’s International Division keeps busy during pandemic



NCSC’s International Division keeps busy during pandemic

Business travel worldwide has largely stalled since mid-March, with one poll showing that 98 percent of companies have canceled or suspended international travel. NCSC’s International Division has also been grounded, but it has used videoconferencing technology to work with judges, court officials and judicial educators in dozens of countries since the pandemic began.

The work has involved everything from gathering information to providing training to signing agreements for future projects.

“We’ve been participating in a lot of webinars,” International Vice President Jeff Apperson said recently. “We’re actually making more connections because we’re not travelling.”

Some of the work includes:

  • Signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this month with the Judicial General Council of Mongolia. The MOU may lead to opportunities to exchange information, do visits and conduct training for judges and other court employees. Here’s the virtual signing ceremony.
  • Convening about 40 meetings, through the Caribbean Anti-Crime project, with lawyers, law enforcement officers and court officials since March 10. One of the highlights was a meeting on May 8 that included 15 judges from 10 countries, focusing on how those countries’ courts have responded to the pandemic.
  • Hosting a meeting on April 30 with judges and judicial educators from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique and Kenya to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting court operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. They discussed, among other things, how technological limitations impact remote court hearings. “Many of us, it seems, are dealing with the same issues,” Apperson said. Click here to watch the meeting.
  • Planning to conduct a remote court assessment for courts in Pakistan.
  • Conducting four webinars to allow South Korean judges who visited the United States to interact with state and federal court judges.
  • Providing an opportunity in April for court officials and judicial educators from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama to talk about how the courts in their countries were responding to the pandemic.
  • Finding a speaker – Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor -- for the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy for Law’s 6th Biennial Conference, titled "Legal Dimension arising from Covid-19 Pandemic," on May 19.

Go here to learn more about what International Division’s work.

Have information to share about how your court is responding to the pandemic? Submit it to

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