SVU Conference in Chicago | June 23–25, 2019

Chicago, by GE

PROGRAM OUTLINE
Sunday June 23
Sightseeing and Culture
Evening Welcome Reception (watch for updates)
Monday June 24
Conference DAY 1 @ The John Marshall Law School
Morning Sessions 8:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Afternoon Sessions 1:30 PM – 5 PM
Tuesday June 25
Conference DAY 2 @ The John Marshall Law School
Morning Sessions 9 AM – 1:15 PM
Afternoon Sessions 2:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Farewell Reception 6 PM @ The Cliff Dwellers Club

THEMATIC SESSIONS

I. How Czech Lawyers Contributed to the Founding of SVU

II. Across Borders – Wills and Decedent’s Estates; the Private Ownership of Property; Environmental Issues; Disputes involving the Custody of Children
Our nation state system raises practical questions involving the handling of decedent’s estates when property or heirs are located in another state, when and under what conditions foreigners may own property in another state, protecting the environment, and how disputes over the custody of children are resolved when the parents reside in different states. This panel will consist of practicing attorneys who will address these concerns.

III. Language and Justice – The Problem of Translation
The challenges of translation and court interpreting; how translation can affect a legal proceeding.

IV. Across Borders – Nationality, Citizenship, Immigration, Refugee Status, Protecting National Security, and Halting Sex Trafficking
Countries in modern Europe are distinguishable largely based on their ethnic composition. The United States has been a “melting pot” for different ethnic and racial groups. Both models are under scrutiny today. This panel will discuss the nature of citizenship, immigration policies, and how the world has reacted and is reacting to the refugee problem. To what extent are new definitions and policies required? The relationship between national law and international law is disputed. National security is often cited as an important consideration in discussing these issues. Sex trafficking adds another dimension to the free flow of persons between states. This panel will discuss vital issues related to law and policy that affect everyone.

V. Civil Society – The Role and Government of Not-For-Profit Organizations
Perhaps more than any other country in the world the United States has relied on volunteers and not-for-profit organizations to provide assistance and services to individuals and the public. The private sector supports the arts and sciences, education, and many social welfare programs. Traditionally Europeans have relied more on government support for these kinds of programs. How not-for-profit organizations operate and how they are regulated and governed will be the topic of this discussion.

VI. The Rule of Law: Judicial Independence Balanced against Judicial Accountability
This session will focus on the role of judges and courts in our society. It will discuss the importance of judicial independence under the concept of separation of powers and judicial ethics. It will also explore how judges can be held accountable while protecting their independence. Focus will be on the criminal and civil liability of judges and how corrupt judges can be held accountable. Panelists will make suggestions on how the judiciary can earn the trust and respect of the public.

VII. Justice in Resolving Disputes: Case Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Restorative Justice Models
Judicial backlog is a problem everywhere, but it is especially acute in the Czech and Slovak Republics. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Participants will discuss how judges can manage their caseloads more efficiently. At the highest appellate levels, American judges often have discretion in deciding what cases to hear. Similar flexibility is not present in Middle Europe. American courts are now using mandatory mediation as a means of settling disputes without going to trial. A worldwide movement urging the use of restorative justice techniques in both civil and criminal cases is underway. Chicago has a new restorative justice community court. The efficacy of these models will be explored.

Program Director: Prof. Michael Seng, SVU Vicepresident for Academic Exchanges

Presentations will be made accessible to a wider audience as this has been a tradition of the SVU.

A governance seminar shall be added for SVU members seriously interested in running a local chapter or a thematic/research group of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences.

Conference Registration: Please click here to register.

Conference e-mail address: chicago2019@svu2000.org

Conference venue:
The John Marshall Law School
Room 1200
315 S. Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60604 (check the venue)

Accommodation suggestions:
You’re welcome to stay with your favorite brand and to use your favorite booking agent. Our picks in the closest neighborhood would be (at three different price levels):

The Palmer House Hilton
17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603 (check location)
Tel.: (312) 726-7500, website

The Congress Plaza Hotel
520 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60605 (check location)
Tel.: (312) 427-3800, website

The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel
24 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60605 (check location)
Tel.: (312) 360-0300, website

DID YOU KNOW?

The founding fathers of the SVU were lawyers. All three of them. Jaroslav Němec obtained his Juris Doctor at Masaryk University Law School in Brno (1937) and served as judge and chief military prosecutor. Jaroslav Polach (Jay George) obtained his Juris Doctor also at Masaryk University (1938) and received a number of war hero honors, including RAF, worked for the CIA and later for the IRS. Both Polach and Němec were important personalities of the Czechoslovak Resistance and the Czechoslovak Exile Army. The third founding father, Václav Mostecký, studied law at Charles University (1946) and was professor of law at Harvard and Berkeley. By the way, he was the son-in-law of brigadier general Josef Eret.

SVU founding personalities of legal education include Minister Ladislav Karel Feierabend (the first chair of our DC chapter), Prince Frantisek Schwarzenberg (one of our founding directors, SVU President in 1972-1974), Josef Hasek (SVU donor, President of Czechoslovak-American Education Council), Jan Viktor Mládek (SVU President in 1970-1972), Vladimir Kabes (SVU Vice-president in 1984-1988), John Lexa (SVU Secretary General in 1968-1978).