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ONU welcomes international students to LL.M. program

Aug 29, 2011


The Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law welcomes its sixth class of international students to the Democratic Governance and Rule of Law LL.M. program.

The eight students are lawyers from nations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe that are in the process of building democratic governments. The countries represented by the lawyers are Afghanistan, Philippines, Tanzania, Kosovo, Georgia, Tanzania and Tajikistan.

This is the sixth year of the LL.M. program, which brings young lawyers committed to law reform and democracy to Ohio Northern for a year of studying new ways to improve the legal and governing systems of their countries. They will attend on scholarships provided by the University, their home governments, the U.S. State Department programs and other donors.

The students will take specialized classes at the law school, observe local courts, election boards and other government agencies, and visit legal and political institutions in Columbus, Washington D.C., and other U.S. cities.

Jinee O. Bantug (Philippines) works for the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) as a division chief for the Legal Department located in Manila. Her responsibilities include drafting and reviewing contracts, providing legal opinions, and handling tax actions and remedies relative to the company’s transactions and liabilities with the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Bantug received her B.A. in 1995 from De La Salle University in Manila and her LL.B. from the College of Law at San Beda College Manila in 2001. Upon graduation with her LL.M. degree from ONU, she plans to continue her research and publication on legal reforms in government bureaucracy and hopes to be able to teach legal principles of public sector management to inspire her fellow civil servants to observe the values of accountability, integrity and public responsibility.

Musk Karimi (Afghanistan) received her bachelor’s degree in international and comparative politics and international public law from the American University-Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2010. During her studies, she did her internship at the American Embassy in Bishkek working on a judicial reform project. She worked as a capacity building coordinator with Handicap International and then as the deputy monitoring and evaluation officer for the Afghanistan Rule of Law Stabilization Program in Kabul. Her main duties there involved collecting and evaluating data from various provinces, including conducting Elders and Beneficiaries’ interviews in covered areas, and providing the Program management and UNSAID with monthly reports. Karimi believes that upon graduation she will have gained the necessary legal background to try to help the Afghan people understand and appreciate the idea of human rights as well as contribute to the stabilization of the legal, social and political environment in her country. Karimi is sponsored in part by the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, which includes participation by the U.S. Department of State.

Shahnaz Kerami (Afghanistan) received her bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Kabul University in 1988 and a further year’s training for legal practitioners in the Afghan Attorney General’s Office. She is currently a legal advisor for the U.S.-funded Justice Sector Support Program, where her main responsibilities involve developing and assessing training material about gender justice issues for judges, prosecutors, prison and detention employees, and the Ministry of Women. Kerami’s goal for her study at ONU is to help improve the professionalism in the judicial and legal system by focusing on ignorance of the law, undue delay in implementation of the law, and lack of case management and inconsistency in the court’s working procedure. Furthermore, she regards the program as a great opportunity to improve her career while helping to bring harmony between the judicial system of Afghanistan and international standards. Kerami is sponsored in part by the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, which includes participation by the U.S. Department of State.

Irakli Khorbaladze (Georgia) is currently the head of the Legal Department for the Republican Party of Georgia in Tbilisi, one of the chief opposition parties. He received his law degree from the Faculty of Law of the Grigol Robakidze University in Tbilisi in 2006. His responsibilities for the Republican Party include compliance with Georgian election laws, serving as the Party’s legal representative in court and before government offices, drafting the Party’s rules, regulations and resolutions, and providing legal analysis of draft laws. Upon graduating from ONU’s LL.M. program, Khorbaladze plans to continue to play an active role in Georgian politics. He is convinced that his party has outstanding prospects for the next elections, which will facilitate its goals to adopt important reforms in the judiciary, economy, education and self-government to meet modern western standards essential for the development of a democracy.

Enver Krivaça (Kosovo) received his law degree from the University of Prishtina in Kosovo in 2007. He served in the Kosovo Police Service prior to and during law school, and he currently works as a customs officer for European Integration within the Legal Directorate of the Kosovo Government. In that position, he provides legal advice and interpretations regarding the conformity of Kosovo internal legislation with European standards, drafts and revises sub-legislative acts and legal documents, and informs staff about legislative initiatives. Upon completion of the LL.M. program, Krivaça hopes to be a role model for other members of the Kosovo government and help his country integrate into 21st century Europe.

Selman Mtibora (Tanzania) received his LL.B. from the Mzumbe University in Morogoro, Tanzania, in 2006. His currently works as a state attorney in the Office of the Prime Minister for the National Electoral Commission. His main duties include dealing with legal matters affecting the commission, giving legal opinions, drafting various electoral policies, regulation and rules, and providing education for voters. This year, Mtibora has been enrolled as an advocate in the High Court of Tanzania. Mtibora believes that joining the LL.M. program at Ohio Northern will benefit the National Electoral Commission and Tanzania at large because few state attorneys have expertise in the legal aspects of democracy and rule of law. He is sponsored in large part by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Mark E. Mulwambo (Tanzania) is a state attorney for the United Republic of Tanzania, Attorney General’s office. He received his LL.B. from the Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, England, in 2003. As a state attorney, his main responsibilities are providing legal opinions, studying case files for court proceedings, advising the government and its departments on legal matters, and as advising the general public of their rights. His duties also include conducting legal research and preparing reports on behalf of the government for international treaty bodies. Mulwambo hopes that the knowledge he acquires at Ohio Northern will help strengthen the growing democracy in Tanzania. He is convinced that the knowledge he acquires in the LL.M. program will help strengthen the growing democracy in Tanzania. Mulwambo is sponsored in large part by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.         

Jamshed Yakhyaev (Tajikistan) graduated in 2007 from the Tajik National University in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with a law degree; he received his LL.M. in international and European law from the Riga Graduate School of Law two years later. Presently, he works as a programme assistant in the office of the Political-Military Department of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Tajikistan Office. His main responsibilities are assisting the political-military officer, assessing the general compliance of the project with the Office Mandate, evaluating the efficiency of the project’s methodology, and monitoring and drafting reports on the implementation of project’s objectives. Upon completion of the LL.M. program, he believes that his better knowledge of the U.S. legal and justice system will help him implement new ideas for further cooperation among Tajik law enforcement agencies to promote ongoing development and expansion of the rule of law. Yakhyaev is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of State’s Legal Education and Development (LEAD) Fellowship Program.

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