The Law Library of Congress recently hosted a group of legal analysts from a Moscow based non-government organization called the “Consulting and Legal Protection of People.” According to its director, Svetlana Boshno, the organization coordinates its activities with the Russian State Civil Service Academy under the Russian Federation President and works with members and staff of the Russian legislature as advisors, consultants, legislative drafters, and experts.
The analysts met with Law Library of Congress specialists from our Global Legal Research Center (GLRC) and the Collection Services Division; they received consultations on American law, law librarianship and foreign law. They also attended Congressional hearings and discussions at several Washington based think tanks.
The Law Library of Congress program preceded the Open World program later attended by the Russian analysts. According to Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress and Founding Chair of the Open World Board of Trustees:
Since 1999, Open World has brought more than 17,000 young leaders to the United States from the countries of Eurasia. Through Open World, mayors, legislators, judges, civil servants, educators and entrepreneurs from across the former Soviet Union have come to know the real America. And whether the ideas they take home are practical, such as publishing city council meeting times in the local paper, or more abstract, such as understanding the importance of judicial impartiality to the rule of law, the net effect of Open World is to strengthen the democratic process in their countries.
I am happy to report that we at the Law Library of Congress made our own contribution towards scholarly information sharing and the development of professional relations with Russian analysts who provide research services to the Russian Duma. Maintaining contacts with legal scholars, with governmental and non- governmental institutions around the world is important for the Law Library of Congress development of its extensive foreign law collections.