Delegates from Nepal's Justice System Visit Arizona

PHOENIX – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the government of Nepal sponsored a recent visit to Arizona by eight members of Nepal’s judiciary.  Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha worked with the UNDP’s Rule of Law and Human Rights Program to plan a series of discussions with Arizona’s court professionals on these topics;

•Structure of Arizona’s Court System
•Working with Governors, Legislators and other government leaders
•Advancing Justice Together: Courts & Communities, the five-year strategy for the courts
•Commission on Access to Justice
•Commission on Minorities
•Our Courts Arizona and Community Outreach
•Time Standards and Case Management
•Committee on Victims in the Courts

Nepal has a three-tiered court system similar to American courts in which there are trial courts, appellate courts and a Supreme Court.  Subject matter experts and Arizona’s five justices met with the delegates to answer their questions and provide information about Arizona’s progress in key areas.  The delegates were particularly interested in how the courts address the needs of the poor and disadvantaged as well as victims of crime.  

“Senior Supreme Court Justice Shrestha and the UN representative selected Arizona because Nepal faces some of the same issues we are working to address successfully,” said Chief Justice Scott Bales.  “We noted the importance of seeking input and support from the community broadly, including leaders from outside the judicial branch.  Some of our best innovations have come by including non-judicial members from the public, private, and non-profit sectors in various court initiatives.”

Justice Shrestha and seven colleagues from the Nepal judiciary spent a day and a half last week meeting with state court subject matter specialists before also visiting the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse and the Superior Court in Maricopa County.  Later in the week, the delegates met with Nepalese students from Arizona State University and representatives from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  They departed on March 5 for stops in Washington, DC and New York City before returning to Kathmandu, Nepal.

The representatives from Nepal included:

•Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha, Supreme Court
•Honorable Judge Mr. Til Prasad Shrestha, Appellate Court, Hetauda
•Honorable Judge Mr. Hemraj Pant, Appellate Court, Patan 
•Honorable Judge Mr. Radha Krishna Upreti, District Court, Rautahat
•Mr. Lal Bahadur Kunwar, Joint Registrar, Supreme Court 
•Mr. Bhadrakali Pokharel, Bench Officer, Supreme  Court
•Mr. Ratna Kaji Shrestha, Justice Sector Coordinator for the on Rule of Law and Human Rights Program, United Nations Development Program
•Mr. D. Christopher Decker, Chief Technical Advisor on Rule of Law and Human Rights Program, United Nations Development Program


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