Only July 4 & 5, the CEELI Institute and the Hungarian Academy of Justice, National Office for the Judiciary, hosted a workshop for the Central & Eastern European Judicial Exchange Network at the Academy’s facility in Budapest, Benchbook Innovations: Improving Benchbook Development and Integration into Practice.  The Institute and the Academy brought together a total of nine participants from Albania, Georgia, Hungary, and Latvia, and two experienced legal experts for a discussion of best practices and the challenges involved in developing a benchbook.

Benchbooks are a quick-reference resource for Judges.  They provide guidance on trial procedures and are a tool to boost judicial integrity and court efficiency.    Discussion at the workshop included how to structure a benchbook, developing an e-benchbook, and what might be included in a benchbook on criminal procedure.  Each participant attended the workshop because he or she is involved in a project to develop or refine benchbooks in his or her home country.  The Institute and he Academy hopes that the lessons and best practices raised at the workshop will advance each participant’s project at home.