Delaware plays a part in democracy building abroad [video]

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden signed an agreement on Tuesday that put Delaware in a unique position to support foreign countries who want develop a judicial system like the United States.

Biden joined Delaware Superior Court Justice Charles Butler and representatives of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in signing the agreement.

Judge Butler noted the judicial freedoms in America, such as due process and legal representation, are benchmarks for developing countries today. The goal is for southeastern European nations to achieve the same level of civil protection through this agreement.

What the agreement sets up

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The agreement establishes a working relationship between the state and the INL agency to provide legal resources to foreign countries.

Prosecutors and law-enforcement officials in Delaware would train and advise members of those foreign judicial systems in order to strengthen the rule of law abroad.

The principle behind the rule of law stresses maximum equality, where the rights of the people are fully protected with real consequences for anyone who breaks the law.

Biden is excited about the opportunity for members of the Delaware Department of Justice to show what they have learned here in the courthouses to “help make things better for people around the world.”

The treaty was signed with the Assistant Secretary of INL, Ambassador William Brownfield.

He discussed how this partnership would be mutually beneficial for both the United States and foreign countries.

It would provide important judicial skills and a high level of legal expertise to developing countries. American law enforcement could potentially stop the influx of crime from overseas. Ambassador Brownfield believes through establishing these diplomatic relationships, local communities might be able do things like stop the source of illegal drug and gang activity across borders.

From the press conference

The focus of the press conference centered on southeastern Europe, particularly nations of the former Yugoslav states.

Last year, Delaware was the first to deploy rule of law training in Montenegro. State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings was a part of this deployment, and spoke of returning to Delaware with a great respect for the Montenegrin pursuit of justice and a “profound respect” and greater appreciation for American principles of democracy.

Attorney General Biden referred to his experiences with the U.S. Justice Department in Kosovo in 2001 as a way to measure progress of this international program. He said there are examples within country of ways they are showing their appreciation for our assistance.

Delaware now joins New Mexico as the first two states to be a part of this agreement.

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