10 September 20 2006 ITALY Meeting Summary
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Date Created:January 31, 2013
Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014
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The International Program Italy September 20, 2006 Guests: Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Officials The visiting Italian officials were participating the U.S. Department States International Visitor Leadership Program entitled U.S. Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Systems. The meeting was arranged the Institute International Education, Professional Exchanges Division. briefing was requested with Judicial Watch representative discuss the organizations role promoting transparency U.S. governmental, legal, and judicial systems. Tom Fitton, president Judicial Watch, met with the distinguished international visitors and provided them with brief overview Judicial Watchs profile: nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, funded the private donations the American people, whose expertise lies the skillful use the Freedom Information Act and other state sunshine laws hold government and judicial officials accountable the people who elected them public office. Mr. Fitton informed the guests that although has been successful bringing corruption light many high-profile cases, can take years bring accountability and resolution court law. Judicial Watchs lawsuit against the U.S. Department Commerce was cited one such examplean investigation which began 1994 and only now nearing final resolution. The lawsuit arose result Judicial Watchs FOIA investigation into the Commerce Departments The International Program Italy taxpayer funded trade missions during the Clinton Administration, which led the discovery the DNCs scheme sell seats trade missions exchange for campaign casha flagrant violation federal campaign finance law. Mr. Fitton also discussed some the educational aspects Judicial Watchs mission. For example, throughout the FOIA process, documents are received and reviewed investigative and legal staff, they are made available the public its Internet site. emphasized the fact that the real value JWs work lies its ability educate the public exposing misconduct and thereby holding government and judicial officials accountable the court public opinion. The visiting officials agreed that organization like Judicial Watch would great value Italy. The officials stated that although Italy has certain transparency laws that allow its citizens obtain information from the government, there are many restrictions. The work does, one the officials commented, valuable check government corruption simply because what objection could government agency have record request doing its job. Also discussed was the current politically charged topic immigration reform. The Italian law enforcement officials stated that illegal immigration major problem Italy today. Mr. Fitton spoke briefly about Judicial Watchs lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department for violation federal immigration laws and its efforts hold local government officials accountable for the illegal use taxpayer funds the construction day labor sites for illegal immigrant laborers. result the failure Congress bring about immigration reform the federal level, JWs legal tactics are being duplicated around the country citizen groups order stem the tide illegal immigration into their communities. The Italian officials expressed incredulity over the circumvention established federal law local law enforcement agencies, such Los Angeles and other safe-haven communities. the close the briefing, Mr. Fitton commended the visiting law enforcement officials for their courage and bravery their battle against organized crime and corruption Italyand for their commitment the rule law.