The Ambassador of the United States of America in Dominican Republic, James Brewster, received a delegation of nine judges from the state of New York, headed by the honorable Judge Fern Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for NYC courts.
The delegation’s main objective is to establish a dialogue with members of the Dominican judiciary system needed to identify the “best practices” of both judiciaries, create an environment conducive to teaching and learning methodologies for increased access to justice and ultimately further the likelihood of program replication in the Dominican Republic.
Today, Ambassador Brewster accompanied the delegation of judges on a tour of the Community Legal Services Center of Santo Domingo (CECSEL-SD). The delegation along with Mr. Fred Rooney, director of Touro Law Center, will be in country from February 12-14. During their visit, they will and, meet with senior representatives of the Dominican justice system.
In 2013, the Community Legal Services Center of Santo Domingo (CECSEL) was established through a U.S. Government grant request by Fulbright Professor Fred Rooney, with the purpose of creating a law incubator in the country offering legal services and representation to low-income citizens, especially victims of domestic violence and members of the LGBT community in the Dominican Republic.
The center was established in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the Ministry of Women and the Attorney General’s Office.
In mid- 2013 , eleven CECSEL members participated in an exchange program organized by the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo with Hon. Judge Fern Fisher to hear cases of litigants without legal representation and functioning of the judiciary in the state of New York. Upon their return, CECSEL members developed a strategy to replicate the experience through CECSEL and expand the level of services provided to the community.