Kyrgyzstan jurists pay visit to College of Law

April 3, 2008

A group of judges and attorneys from Kyrgyzstan witnessed democracy in action March 25 while observing Arizona’s top court in session at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

The delegation – which made its first visit to the United States courtesy of the Open World Program, a congressional initiative that builds understanding among participating countries’ political and civic leaders and their American counterparts – watched oral arguments before the Arizona Supreme Court in the College’s Great Hall. Via interpreters, the Russian visitors heard lawyers argue before the court. They also got to hear the students in the audience question the justices about a variety of issues. Download Full Image

That the court visits the law school annually and interacts with students was especially impressive to the delegation’s members – a fact they pointed out during an interview with a reporter from the State Press.

“Having this open here in front of the students, that’s a testament to the fact that the court really is public,” said Gulia Kozhokulova, deputy prosecutor of Bishkek City, the Kyrgyz Republic’s capital, and the group’s only woman. “I was quite surprised by their professional integrity – the way they answered questions and students would reply.”

Added Ashyrbek Kurmanov, a judge and chair of the Inter-District Court of the Chuy Region: “Unfortunately, that never happens in Kyrgyzstan. The only way our students get experience is when they go to work for the courts during the summertime.”

Nurbek Toktakunov, a human-rights attorney, said he was surprised the justices were so inquisitive and open-minded.

“I oftentimes come to court and know the judge has already formed an opinion, no matter what I say,” Toktakunov said. “You could see the court here doesn’t have any preconceptions and treated every attorney equally.”

Askat Sydkhov, a judge and head of court in Sverdlov District Court, said he was pleased by the court’s strict adherence to the time allotted for each attorney during oral argument, and that their exchanges were courteous.

“Everything happened as a collegiate dialogue and a healthy adversarial system,” he said.

The jurists, who arrived in Phoenix March 21 for their one-week visit, also met with Arizona Supreme Court chief justice Ruth McGregor and judges from the Arizona Court of Appeals. They also planned to visit the Maricopa County Superior Court and do some sightseeing.

The members of the delegation said they’d been warmly welcomed at every turn.

“We think this is what brings people together, and we find we have more in common,” Kozhokulova said. “We think our people would be as hospitable and warm if you choose to come to our country.”

Spring Festival at Downtown Phoenix campus

April 3, 2008

Spring has arrived! Come celebrate at ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus April 9-12th!

All Week: Penny War for Change Download Full Image

Compete against other teams to raise money for Make a Difference in conjunction with the Serve-a-thon on April 12th. The team that earns the most points will earn a pizza party for up to 25 people. To paricipate, contact Christina Hernandez at CQHernandez">"> Everyone is welcome to participate.

All Week: Spring Festival Passport

Attend these events and get your Spring Festival Passport stamped. Stamped passports are eligible to be entered into a drawing for Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige concert tickets. All students are welcome to participate.

Wednesday: W.O.W. BINGO

Come play BINGO and win fun prizes! Everyone is welcome to participate.

Location: ASU Wells Fargo Student Center in the Arizona Center

Time: 7 p.m.

Thursday: '80's Bash

Come join your fellow students for a rockin' '80's bash. All students are welcome. Dress as your favorite '80's idol and be eligible for prizes and giveaways.

Location: Wells Fargo Student Center in the Arizona Center

Time: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Friday: The Inferno

Play in the dodgeball tournament at the YMCA and have dinner with fellow competitors. To register, send an e-mail to inferno">"> All students and staff are welcome to participate.

Location: The YMCA at 350 N. 1st Ave.

Time: 6 p.m.

Saturday: Serve-A-Thon for Schools

Help beautiful and make this center a safe place for the young students who attend during the week. You can contribute by painting, sanitizing and tilling the playground. Breakfast, lunch and transporation are provided.

Location: ASU Wells Fargo Student Center in the Arizona Center

Time: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Saturday: Mid-Day Matinee

Register to enjoy a FREE movie and concession stand card on April 12th! Stop by the ASU Wells Fargo Student Center in the Arizona Center to reserve your tickets. Ticket reservations begin April 1st. All students are invited.

For any questions about Spring Festival, contact Christina Hernandez at CQHernandez">">