Lethbridge chief Crown prosecutor Bill Wister spent two weeks in eastern Europe with the Leavitt Institute, an organization of legal professionals dedicated to the development of democratic liberties in developing nations. The Institute has two branches in the U.S. and one in Canada.
Bill and some exchange students met senior U.S. State Department officials at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, where they discussed the Institute’s intern program and a bill before the Moldovan Parliament to increase the independence of the prosecution service. The group also attended the National Institute of Justice Conference on Human Rights where they heard presentations from the president of Moldovan parliament, the deputy minister of Justice, and a judge of International Court of Human Rights.
“During the discussions, Alberta was recognized as a sponsor site for future student exchange visits,” said Bill. “It is a great honour to be recognized as a key player in the future of enhancing human rights through working with interns. I am pleased Alberta, my home province, is seen as a part of a long-term solution for an independent Moldovan prosecution service, protecting minority rights.”
Earlier this year, a group of three student lawyers from Moldova visited Lethbridge to learn about the province’s justice system. The lawyers spent time with Deputy Minister Philip Bryden and Provincial Court Judge Derek Redman. They also attended trials, docket and domestic violence court.
In 2013, Bill and his wife spent two weeks at the Leavitt Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine, where they worked as volunteers teaching best practices to young Ukrainian lawyers.