The Rule of Law: From Around the World to Michigan

VIPP hosted a delegation of legal experts from around the globe for the U.S. Judicial System IVLP Program.

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Published: Monday, 19 Dec 2022 Author: Teresa Svec, Visiting International Professional Program

Group of people in front of Michigan Hall of JusticeThe Visiting International Professional Program welcomed 21 lawyers and four international liaisons from 21 different countries and five continents for the U.S. Department of State IVLP program “Rule of Law and the U.S. Judicial System” on December 7 - 12, 2022. The accomplished group of participants brought a wealth of experience from a variety of careers in the legal public and private sectors as lawyers, judges, activists, professors, administrators, and government officials.

The visitors enjoyed learning about government structure, rule-making in the U.S. system, and American legal institutions and mechanisms, including public engagement in government, separation of powers, and the constitutional basis for judicial People stand on balcony in Michigan Capitol Rotundaprinciples. Their visit to Lansing started with the opportunity to observe oral arguments before the Michigan Supreme Court, and learn about Michigan’s court system at the Hall of Justice Learning Center. This was followed by a visit to the State Capitol to learn about Michigan’s history, and a meeting with State Representative Sarah Anthony. The participants were then able to see the law-making process in action by observing a legislative session of the Michigan House of Representatives.

The visitors then had the opportunity to learn about some of the other dispute resolution methods utilized in the U.S. with a visit to the Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan. They enjoyed hearing about different types of conflict resolution mechanisms, the important role of alternative dispute resolution in the U.S., and how the center collaborates with the court system. A trip to People sit in Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Courtthe Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court in Mount Pleasant was another highlight of the groups’ stay in Michigan. There they learned about the role of tribal courts, including how tribal courts operate, what kinds of cases fall within their jurisdiction, and how they resolve tribal conflicts and enforce tribal law.

The group also took a break for some light-hearted fun with time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Lansing during the holidays, including a visit to Lansing's Old Town, checking out the State Capitol Christmas tree, and taking in a performance of Holiday Pops: Seasons Greetings at the Wharton Center. The final stop during their Michigan visit was Michigan State University for a lecture by Professor Teresa Svec about the U.S. judicial system and rule making process, including its development from a historical perspective, challenges and proposed structural reforms. The group enjoyed comparing legal systems and sharing their perspectives.

The U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) brings current and emerging leaders from around the world to the U.S., and provides short-term professional exchange programs to cultivate lasting relationships between the U.S. and international counterparts. Learn more about IVLP programs hosted by VIPP at