26 January 8 2010 VIETNAM Meeting Summary
Number of Pages:3
Date Created:January 31, 2013
Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014
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The International Program Vietnam Judicial Watch attorney Jim Peterson and international liaison, Janice Rurup, met with the Vietnamese delegation legal professionals its offices January 2010. The meeting was arranged World Learning, under the auspices the Department States International Visitor Leadership Program. The programs objectives for this delegation were, part, to: Study the mechanism public supervision and assessment the United States; Obtain overview the U.S. judicial system, particularly the tasks and authorities judges and jurors; and Examine the U.S. experience building and implementing the law legal provisions public access information. Mr. Peterson was asked discuss methods which Judicial Watch promotes transparency, accountability and integrity the law. set forth its Mission Statement, through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards ethics and morality our nations public life and seeks ensure that political and judicial officials not abuse the powers entrusted them the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach. The International Program integral part its educational program. Mr. Peterson provided overview Judicial Watchs primary mission promote openness and integrity government, well its role educational foundation. contrasting Vietnamese and American legal systems, remarked that the right Americans bring suit against their government one the key differences. And was, fact, lawsuit brought against the Commerce Department The International Program a federal agency the U.S. governmentthat ushered Judicial Watch into the national spotlight and elevated its standing formidable government watchdog. was clear case corruption, cash for access, that was unveiled through the Freedom Information Act and subsequent litigation. was discovered that taxpayer funded seats trade missions were being sold return for campaign contributions. Mr. Peterson stated that the federal Freedom Information Act (FOIA) remains Judicial Watchs primary means investigation, but Judicial Watchs known ability and tenaciousness force the release documents into the public domain through litigation that sets apart from other public policy organizations the nations capital. When the meeting was opened questions, one the delegates asked Judicial Watch had ever been pressured the government take case. The delegates were surprised learn that the government, the Commerce case discussed, had offered substantial settlement sum make the case away. Judicial Watch refused settle and instead exposed their offer. (This case highlighted the fact that society exempt from corruption and further underscored the need for legal mechanisms, such sunshine laws, keep governments open and accountable the people.) The U.S. Department States current country profile for Vietnam reports that relations between the United States and Vietnam have become increasingly cooperative and broad-based the years since political normalization (July 11, 1995). January 2007, Congress approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam. October 2008, the U.S. and Vietnam inaugurated annual political-military talks and policy planning talks consult regional security and strategic issues. However, there has been recent downturn relations between the U.S. and Vietnam due suppression political dissent. The country study reveals that over the past year, two journalists were arrested and convicted connection with their reporting high-level corruption, and several journalists and editors leading newspapers have been fired. the other hand, the report also notes that The International Program significant progress has been and continues made Vietnam expanding religious freedom.