Month: December 2020

Navy Advisory Team Arrives In Chile

first_imgBy Dialogo May 18, 2010 A specialized team of experts in naval salvage and industrial recovery arrived in Chile to provide reconstruction expertise May 11. Deputy Commander of Naval Facilities and Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Deputy Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Albert Garcia and Commander of Naval Surface Warfare Center Rear Adm. Jim Shannon arrived in Chile with the 10-person team. The team consisting of shipyard, dry-docking and diving and salvage experts from Naval Sea Systems Command and waterfront shore facility experts from NAVFAC will be working with the Chilean navy to share their insight into reconstruction efforts of Astilleros y Maestranzas de la Armada (ASMAR, shipyards and armories of the Chilean navy) Talcahuano, a shipyard located in the Bay of Concepcion. ASMAR, is a state-owned company, belonging to the military and defense industries in which it constructs and repairs Chilean navy ships as well as domestic and internationally owned ships. The shipyard was damaged by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Feb. 27. This is the second time the Chilean government has requested the assistance of an advisory team from the U.S. Navy since the earthquake and tsunami. The first team assisted the Chilean navy with an initial damage assessment of Naval Base Talcahuano and the shipyard. For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.last_img read more

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Salvadoran Minors Sentenced for Burning Passengers on Minibus

first_imgBy Dialogo November 02, 2010 A Salvadoran court has sentenced two underage gang members to the maximum prison terms after finding them guilty of the aggravated homicide of seventeen people who were burned alive inside a minibus on 20 June, according to a statement issued by the judicial system. The judge of the First Juvenile Court, Lorena Morales, after a two-week proceeding, sentenced the fourteen-year-old, nicknamed “El Güilita,” to five years of detention for having sprinkled fuel on the passengers who were burned. At the same time, the other youth, a sixteen-year-old identified as “El Gárgola,” who shot at the victims who tried to leave the minibus, was sentenced to fifteen years of detention in the El Espino Juvenile Center, in the department of Ahuachapán, in the western part of the country. Both minors were charged with “aggravated homicide, attempted aggravated homicide, assault on seventeen people, and damage to a minibus used for public transportation,” the statement specified. In order to resolve the case, the judge, Lorena Morales, relied on “witness statements, forensic evidence, and expert testimony,” the announcement indicated. The massacre, which provoked a strong response among Salvadorans due to its degree of brutality, was perpetrated on the night of 20 June on a street in downtown Mejicanos, on the northern periphery of San Salvador, when according to witnesses, gang members proceeded to stop the minibus and after sprinkling the occupants with gasoline, set them on fire. According to the laws on juvenile crime, minors aged between 12 and 15 may receive a maximum penalty of five years of detention; however, for adolescents between 16 and 17 the penalty is fifteen years in a readaptation center. According to the press office of the courts, El Güilita is an orphan whose mother died of a terminal illness, while his father died as a victim of crime. The parents of the sixteen-year-old are involved in the same case, charged with illegal possession of weapons and drugs.last_img read more

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Guatemalan President Proposes Reforms to Combat Corruption

first_img On March 12, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez proposed a package of eleven laws directed toward tightening controls on the handling of public funds and combating various forms of corruption, such as smuggling. “It’s a package of laws directed toward strengthening the institutional position (of the state), transparency, and the quality of public spending,” the president stated upon arriving at the seat of Congress together with Finance Minister Pavel Centeno. The president explained that the proposal is the second phase of the so-called Fiscal Pact, one of his chief campaign promises. The package consists in the modification of seven existing laws and the creation of four others, focused on improving the monitoring of public funds, for which purpose basic guidelines are given about how to handle them. The first phase, called Tax Updating, was passed by Congress on February 16 and seeks to increase tax collections by around 585 million dollars over the next four years. The new presidential proposal includes reforms to a series of laws related to the budget, the integrity of public officials, illicit enrichment, state purchases and contracts, and auditing activities, among others. looking for a good President, and especially on legalization of Medicine of plants, coca, opium, plants of God give us for personal possession, and with taxes. By Dialogo March 14, 2012last_img read more

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Colombia: Illegal mining concerns government

first_img The government has taken steps to crack down on the mining of natural resources, including revoking 37 mining licenses – some of which were counterfeit to begin with – nationwide, including in the mining-rich departments of Guanía, Vaupés and Guaviare. “We must make it clear that several of the permits revoked were illegal because they were forged. It’s illegal to mine in natural parks,” said Julia Miranda, director of National Natural Parks, an organization under the Ministry of the Environment.”We will not grant any request for permits to mine within the parks and those previously issued are cancelled.” The Colombian National Directorate of Natural Parks has rejected 400 mining permits in the past five months. The biggest problem for the government in terms of illegal mining is determining the extent of the crime, said Gustavo Wilches Chaux, an environmentalist specializing in risk assessment. “There are no real numbers on how far this business actually reaches,” he said. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the country’s new mining code – expected to go into effect in the second half of 2012 – will reform the mining industry and provide training and financial support to those entering the field. Wilches applauds the government’s efforts. “The government is focused on formalizing this business and this is an important step,” he said. “It’s still missing some details, but it’s on the right track. However, the exploitation of these inaccessible areas is something authorities will have to deal with constantly, because controlling exploitation all around is virtually impossible – the jungle takes up 10% of the national territory. There aren’t a lot of roads that go into the park, so monitoring the national parks is not easy. The job often resembles that of finding a needle in a haystack.” By Dialogo April 11, 2012 BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Coltan, tungsten and cocaine – these are the three biggest threats to the ecosystem of Puinawai national reserve, located in the department of Guainía, in the Colombian Amazonia. Coltan, also known as tantalite, is a mixture of mineral ores used to make advanced electronic device capacitors. “A ton of coltan can be sold illegally for around US$500,000,” said Fabio Forero, a professor at De La Salle University in Colombia. Tungsten, meanwhile, is best known for its use in light bulb filament, but according to Universidad de los Andes historian Santiago Martínez, “the reason that groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are interested in tungsten is because the product is essential in the making of ground-to-air missiles and projectiles capable of breaching plated armor.” The illegal mining by narco-traffickers and terrorist groups concerns the Colombian government. “We have found sophisticated narco-trafficking organizations are increasingly involved in the trafficking of minerals from the Puinawai national reserve,” said Naval Infantry Col. Alfredo de Videro, who commands the military in the region where the park is located. The Colombian media has reported the profits generated by illegal mining operations nationwide can reach $1.6 billion pesos (US$837,915). The government hasn’t released its data. “We’re doing all we can to avoid the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the country,” said Environmental Minister Frank Pearl, adding the ministry lacks the resources to monitor the country’s 56 natural parks 24 hours a day. “Some entities are not able to reach the farthest corners of the parks. Thus, it is important to have citizens and the media involved in notifying authorities if they see illegal mining taking place. Colombia is a very large country, which makes eliminating illegal exploitation very challenging.” last_img read more

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Trafficking in Persons Report 2013: Belize

first_imgBy Dialogo August 08, 2013 In February 2013 the government enacted the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Act which prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to eight years’ imprisonment, up to 12 years’ imprisonment if the victim is a child, and up to 25 years’ imprisonment in cases involving sexual assault or other aggravating circumstances. This law repealed and replaced the government’s previous anti-trafficking law. Notably, the new law elevated the offense of trafficking from a “summary offence” tried in the lower courts to an indictable offense tried before the Supreme Court. The prescribed maximum penalty of eight years’ imprisonment, up to 25 years’ imprisonment in some cases, is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes. During the reporting period, the government also passed the 2013 Commercial Sexual Exploitation Children (Prohibition) Act that criminalizes the facilitation of prostitution of children under 18 years of age. Additionally, sex trafficking and forced labor of Belizean and foreign women and girls, primarily from Central America, occurs in bars, nightclubs, and brothels throughout the country. Children and adults working in the agricultural and fishing sectors in Belize are vulnerable to forced labor. Forced labor has been identified in the service sector among the South Asian and Chinese communities in Belize, primarily in restaurants and shops with owners from the same country. In terms of prevention, the government continued to coordinate Belize’s anti-trafficking programs through an anti-trafficking committee of 13 agencies and NGOs chaired by a senior Ministry of Human Development official. During the year, the committee released a 2012-2014 anti-trafficking national strategic plan, which outlined steps to guide, monitor, and evaluate the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. The recently passed anti-trafficking law institutionalized interagency cooperation on trafficking in Belize by formalizing the role and responsibilities of the anti-trafficking coordination committee. The government continued its awareness campaign in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi. The report recommends that Belize proactively implement the recently passed anti-trafficking law by aggressively investigating and prosecuting forced labor and sex trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in trafficking; take steps to ensure the effective prohibition of the commercial sexual exploitation of children; seek criminal punishment for any guilty trafficking offender; monitor human trafficking trial procedures, and ensure trafficking offenders receive sentences that are proportionate to the gravity of the crime; complete the anti-trafficking committee’s development and implementation of formal procedures to guide officials in proactively identifying victims of sex trafficking and forced labor, including among migrant laborers and people in prostitution, and refer them for care; continue to increase partnerships with NGOs to address reintegration of trafficking victims in Belize; ensure identified foreign victims are not penalized for crimes, such as immigration violations, committed as a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking; and implement a targeted campaign educating domestic and foreign communities about forced domestic service and other types of forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and other forms of human trafficking. center_img The number of traffic convictions or sentences is not included, and it’s the most important indicator. According to the Trafficking in Persons Report published in June 2013 by the U.S. Department of State, the Government of Belize does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government enacted an anti-trafficking law late in the reporting period that raised penalties for human trafficking offenses. It also enacted a law prohibiting and punishing the commercial sexual exploitation of children under the age of 18. Belize is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. A common form of human trafficking in Belize is the coerced prostitution of children, often occurring through parents pushing their children to provide sexual favors to older men in exchange for school fees, money, and gifts. Child sex tourism, involving primarily U.S. citizens, has been identified as an emerging trend in Belize. last_img read more

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Focus on the Western Hemisphere: A Network Approach

first_imgThe success of this coordination and U.S. resources committed to dismantling illicit drug networks hinges on strong international partnerships forged by common goals. As a committee, we met with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to address this international effort. We also engaged with Panama’s National Aero-Naval Service, or SENAN, to build on recent successes in disrupting narco-trafficking on both sides of Panama’s isthmus. Federal agencies and international partners are working tirelessly in the United States and abroad to combat Transnational Organized Crime networks. These efforts have been instrumental in eradicating production facilities and controlling the purchase of precursor chemicals used to make drugs; interrupting mobility corridors when illegal narcotics are being moved to stockpile locations; and integrating efforts to disrupt drug shipments and the distribution chain to impact the network itself. President Obama recently announced the U.S. Government’s strategy for Central America and its focus on promoting prosperity and regional economic integration, enhancing security and promoting improved governance. TIC efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Southern Border and Approaches Campaign plan, and our own Western Hemisphere Strategy directly support the president’s national strategy. Vice President Biden emphasized this coordination when he referenced our committee’s engagements in Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia and Honduras during his remarks at the Inter-American Development Bank Conference. In addition to my role as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, I am also The Interdiction Committee (TIC) chair. TIC is comprised of key representatives from a coalition of U.S. agencies dedicated to disrupting illicit networks in the drug trade, specifically through interdiction efforts in the Western Hemisphere maritime transit zone. We then traveled to Honduras, a country with the highest murder rate in the world. Most of this violence is directly associated with Transnational Organized Crime networks in the region. We met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to discuss ways we can partner in combating illicit drug networks and create time and space for the seeds of governance and economic prosperity to grow. Honduras is a willing partner, and its future is important to our national security. In addition to my role as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, I am also The Interdiction Committee (TIC) chair. TIC is comprised of key representatives from a coalition of U.S. agencies dedicated to disrupting illicit networks in the drug trade, specifically through interdiction efforts in the Western Hemisphere maritime transit zone. Federal agencies and international partners are working tirelessly in the United States and abroad to combat Transnational Organized Crime networks. These efforts have been instrumental in eradicating production facilities and controlling the purchase of precursor chemicals used to make drugs; interrupting mobility corridors when illegal narcotics are being moved to stockpile locations; and integrating efforts to disrupt drug shipments and the distribution chain to impact the network itself. We then traveled to Honduras, a country with the highest murder rate in the world. Most of this violence is directly associated with Transnational Organized Crime networks in the region. We met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to discuss ways we can partner in combating illicit drug networks and create time and space for the seeds of governance and economic prosperity to grow. Honduras is a willing partner, and its future is important to our national security. Together, with a network approach, the U.S. Coast Guard is committed to hemispheric safety and security. We are committed to combating Transnational Organized Crime networks, securing our borders and safeguarding commerce. President Obama recently announced the U.S. Government’s strategy for Central America and its focus on promoting prosperity and regional economic integration, enhancing security and promoting improved governance. TIC efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Southern Border and Approaches Campaign plan, and our own Western Hemisphere Strategy directly support the president’s national strategy. Vice President Biden emphasized this coordination when he referenced our committee’s engagements in Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia and Honduras during his remarks at the Inter-American Development Bank Conference. The committee worked with senior officials in Colombia, which was once included among the most dangerous countries in our hemisphere. But, through great courage and resolve, Colombia has successfully waged a hard-fought battle against illicit networks and become a prosperous nation. Colombia is also exerting regional leadership to turn illicit trafficking into an unprofitable industry. In talks with senior members of Colombia’s Navy and National Police, we heard about their experiences and success as they continue to dismantle insidious networks. The success of this coordination and U.S. resources committed to dismantling illicit drug networks hinges on strong international partnerships forged by common goals. As a committee, we met with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to address this international effort. We also engaged with Panama’s National Aero-Naval Service, or SENAN, to build on recent successes in disrupting narco-trafficking on both sides of Panama’s isthmus. By Dialogo December 19, 2014 The committee worked with senior officials in Colombia, which was once included among the most dangerous countries in our hemisphere. But, through great courage and resolve, Colombia has successfully waged a hard-fought battle against illicit networks and become a prosperous nation. Colombia is also exerting regional leadership to turn illicit trafficking into an unprofitable industry. In talks with senior members of Colombia’s Navy and National Police, we heard about their experiences and success as they continue to dismantle insidious networks. Illicit networks run a staggering multi-billion dollar industry, destabilizing countries in the Western Hemisphere through violence and turmoil, undermining the rule of law and terrorizing citizens in the communities they infiltrate. Despite successes in reducing domestic cocaine use, the United States remains the number one consumer nation of illegal narcotics in the world and the consequences in our country are immediate and devastating. According to estimates by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the total cost to the U.S. society from annual illegal drug use is nearly $200 billion. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives have been lost to drug overdoses and associated violence since 2001. Together, with a network approach, the U.S. Coast Guard is committed to hemispheric safety and security. We are committed to combating Transnational Organized Crime networks, securing our borders and safeguarding commerce. Illicit networks run a staggering multi-billion dollar industry, destabilizing countries in the Western Hemisphere through violence and turmoil, undermining the rule of law and terrorizing citizens in the communities they infiltrate. Despite successes in reducing domestic cocaine use, the United States remains the number one consumer nation of illegal narcotics in the world and the consequences in our country are immediate and devastating. According to estimates by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the total cost to the U.S. society from annual illegal drug use is nearly $200 billion. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives have been lost to drug overdoses and associated violence since 2001. last_img read more

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An Example of Interoperability, Partnership, and Understanding

first_imgAn exercise like PANAMAX shows how our regional partners stay abreast of 21st-century threats and evolve over the years to train on these threats as potentially encountered in today’s land, sea, air, and cyber environments. This military exercise is designed to execute stability operations under the authorization of a United Nations Security Council Resolution to defend a globally important waterway. The exercise provides interoperability training for the participating multinational staffs and builds participating nation capability to plan and execute complex multinational operations in addition to developing and sustaining relationships, while fostering friendly cooperation and understanding among participating forces. Last year, the military and security forces of 16 nations came together in August in San Antonio, Texas, as well as locations in Mayport and Miami, Florida, Mississippi, and the Caribbean Sea for seven days of military exercises as part of PANAMAX 2014. Here, nations demonstrated regional partnership, solidarity with the Government of Panama, and integration of military capabilities. Nations used simulations to command and control multinational sea, air, cyber, and land forces defending the vital waterway and surrounding areas against threats from violent extremism, natural disasters, and pandemic outbreaks as well as to practice common multinational military integration for different types of threats that could affect the stability of the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most important economic structures located nearly 2,600 miles away. By Dialogo June 25, 2015 Hi, greetings. I am an official in the Panamanian Chancery, I participated in PANAMAX 2014 and I would like to publish and share this article on my LinkedIn site, but I don’t see any direct link. If possible, could you help me to do this, in Spanish and English, if it is viable according to your security criteria. Thank you, regards. Keep the hard work!!!Congrats.Ernesto E. Cerrud Herrera, Minister of Foreign Relations, Panama New Horizons, held in Honduras in 2015, is a U.S Air Forces South-led exercise focused on improving the joint training readiness of U.S. military members, partner nation civil engineers, medical professionals, and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities. Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias, FA-HUM, is a regionally-oriented Tabletop Exercise conducted and designed to build partner nation capacity to respond to a major disaster and to strengthen hemispheric cooperation and collaboration between regional humanitarian entities and military/security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. FA-HUM 2015 will take place in Honduras. Tradewinds, an annual exercise directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, is conducted in cooperation with Caribbean Basin Partner Nations. The exercise is designed to improve cooperation and interoperability of Partner Nations in responding to regional security threats. U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, in Miami, is the executive agent for the exercise. Throughout the region, there are multiple examples of multinational exercises where interoperability with different types of military capabilities occurs. One of these is Beyond the Horizons (BTH), which during the 2015 exercise cycle in El Salvador, was led by U.S. Army South as a combined exercise with the host government, where U.S. military engineers and medical professionals worked hand-in-hand with their counterparts from El Salvador on training and to provide humanitarian services. The purpose of BTH is to conduct civic assistance and medical and engineering support to show U.S. support and commitment to El Salvador. In 2015, there was also an iteration of the exercise in Panama. During the PANAMAX exercise, the multinational task force integrated employment of a B-52 long-range, subsonic, jet-powered aircraft to support maritime detection and monitoring. This was significant for our regional partnership since it was the first time in three years that a strategic military asset was employed during exercise scenarios, providing regional partners the opportunity to practice integration and enhance interoperability with other military capabilities. These events enable partners to work close to each other while respecting their sovereignty, but most of all allow partner nations to learn from each other and share experiences to improve their own capabilities.last_img read more

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Narco-submarine Seized in Peru Carried More Than 1 Ton of Cocaine Bound for Mexico

first_imgBy AFP December 17, 2019 On December 7, the Peruvian Navy seized a small submarine with a crew of four carrying more than 1 ton of cocaine bound for Mexico, the Peruvian Office of the Attorney General reported on December 11.“The drug found in the submersible is cocaine, as determined by the tests we’ve carried out,” Peruvian Attorney General Jorge Chávez, prosecution coordinator against organized crime, told AFP.“We’re weighing the cargo right now. We’re talking about more than 1 ton of cocaine, [but] we are still weighing” the drug found inside the narco-submarine, which was captured in open waters off the northern Peruvian coast, he added.The Navy initially said that the submersible, about 66 feet long, carried about “4,409 pounds of illicit substances,” but the attorney general has confirmed that it was cocaine.Authorities detained the submersible’s four crew members — two Colombians, one Mexican, and one Ecuadorean.Chávez explained that the vessel was loaded “in the Ecuadorean mangroves” near the Peruvian border, also a wetland area.The attorney general did not explain why the submersible entered Peruvian territorial waters, located south of Ecuador, if it intended to navigate north to reach Mexico.The narco-submarine, which was painted in grey to camouflage it with the sea and built with a small hole on the upper surface for crew access, was towed to the port of Paita, about 620 miles north of Lima.“This is the first submersible caught in Peru. So far, we know that the vessel was bound for Mexico,” said Chávez, who is in charge of the investigations in Paita.“We’re asking the Navy to make a technical report on how it was built,” he said, adding that “the drug and the detainees will be taken to Lima.”“We don’t know what international organization they belong to,” he said.The boat was intercepted December 7, 178 nautical miles off the coastal town of Talará, 31 miles north of Paita.Drug cartels began to use submarines frequently in 2005, experts say, and it is believed that they are built in Colombia, Ecuador, or Guyana.Peru produces more than 400 tons of cocaine a year, the national anti-drug agency reported, and most of it is “exported” by sea.Together with Colombia and Bolivia, Peru is one of the largest producers of coca leaf and cocaine worldwide, says the United Nations.last_img read more

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Daniel Ortega’s Son Threatens Nicaraguan Businessmen

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo January 07, 2020 The Nicaraguan government strengthens its pattern of repression.On November 13, Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, announced the creation of the May 4th Sandinista Movement (Movimiento Sandinista 4 de mayo). Ortega Murrillo made the announcement in front of the Private Enterprise Superior Council (COSEP, in Spanish), and said that Nicaraguan businessmen were enemies of the people for opposing the regime’s ideals. On May 4, 1927, Augusto Sandino, who inspired the Sandinista movement, refused to sign the Espino Negro Pact, which sought to put an end to a civil war between the conservative government and nationalist opposition groups.“In early November, the president accused businesses of distorting economic figures in order to spread fear,” Eliseo Núñez, an expert in public policy and legislative law, told Diálogo from Managua. “Consequently, Ortega might exert pressure on them with taxes and company expropriations, as he did with the media.”In response, COSEP reported that the government and its partisan structures are conducting a media campaign and public actions against organizations and private sector leaders, with threats that promote a “culture of intolerance, hatred, and death.” Political instability has affected the conditions with which to do business and triggers company shutdowns and unemployment, it added.“Economic revival and a democratic state won’t be possible until the civil rights and political liberties of all Nicaraguans are restored,” Francys Valdivia Machado, president of the Mothers of April Association, told Diálogo. Valdivia Machado escaped to Mexico after receiving threats from the Sandinista regime, and continues her work in exile. Her brother, Franco Valdivia, was murdered during the protests of April 2018.“The movement led by Ortega’s son represents violence, persecution, and repression, and it reflects the Sandinista front’s fear of losing power,” Valdivia Machado added. “The presidential couple is willing to do anything to win the presidential election [in 2021].”In addition to leading the new Sandinista movement, Ortega Murillo is the director of TV Channel 8, and owns Difuso Comunicaciones, one of the companies responsible for creating pro-government propaganda, said the Spanish daily La Vanguardia.“The Ortega Murillos are playing with the human rights of Nicaraguans. We don’t want war, but a peaceful and solid solution to the crisis that the country is going through,” Valdivia Machado concluded.last_img read more

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The British pick up trial tips at Bennett training program

first_imgThe British pick up trial tips at Bennett training program September 1, 2003 Regular News The British pick up trial tips at Bennett training programcenter_img There will be no frying-pan waving back home in England, as the young American lawyers did using the evidence during closing arguments in a mock attempted murder trial.British lawyers are not allowed to touch the evidence.“You stand very still. You are far more concise and objective and neutral, really,” said Thomas Wright, of London, one of four Brits among the students at the Gerald T. Bennett Prosecutor/Public Defender Trial Training Program.“You can be quite forceful. You can use quite strong terms. But I think the British jury would just feel a little bit wary of somebody who is being too expressive. They would think it is a little bit of an act and be less inclined to believe you were being genuine.”In lilting Queen’s English that seems to add 20 points to his IQ, Wright continues: “The main thing is how exuberant an American jurist is. He’ll stalk around the courtroom, he’ll pick up exhibits and wave them around and use very emotive terms. As I say, he’ll wander around and be very expressive physically. And that’s just not something that happens in an English courtroom.”That’s not to say Wright didn’t enjoy the show during the mock trials.“To see a good American practitioner doing this job well, it’s still very good. You don’t have to wander around the courtroom and jump up and down to get across the whole idea. It’s the same principle. You are still trying to win the jury over. Sometimes some of the mannerisms are helpful, the immediacy of the language, the colloquialisms are very effective — used in moderation.”While the week-long training brought together young assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders, Wright explained there is no such distinction in his homeland.“We have a slightly different system, whereby we can prosecute and defend. All barristers are self-employed, and we do whatever case is given to us. It might be the Crown Prosecution Service, and you prepare prosecution cases. Or it might be by the Defense Solicitors and you might meet with defendants and talk with them and prepare their cases for trial. We pick up the papers, usually, when it’s all ready for trial. And we just do the trial advocacy. The more serious cases you might meet with your client once and you might have more to do with the preparation of the case and the gathering of evidence. But by and large, we just do courtroom advocacy.”Paul Zacks, chief assistant state attorney in the 15th Judicial Circuit and on the faculty for the training, said having the Brits as students is part of an exchange program whereby American trial attorneys go to Oxford.While Zacks was drumming on young lawyers to step away from the podium, in Britain it is a rule to stay at the podium.“What you find is because they are not allowed to do all the gesturing that we do, their command of the language is so good, because they can only beat you with their words. They can’t be acting. They can’t get up in people’s faces. Their word choices are perfect.”Jury selection also is a whole different game across the pond.“They don’t pick the juries over there,” Zacks explains. “If the person is qualified under the statute, they sit. They could be the defendant’s best friend and they could sit. They’re not even allowed to ask that question.”While the trial court systems are very different here, there were common pointers to take back home.“It’s advocacy, really,” said Wright.“What will persuade a jury in one country will persuade one in another. So it’s really helpful to put a case very effectively. I think it’s done very differently here, and it’s helpful to pick up stylistic behaviors.”last_img read more

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