The National Association of Women Judges – US Hosted a Delegation of Georgia Women Judges

IAWJ judges from the National Association of Women Judges – US (NAWJ) met with a delegation of Georgian women judges in various cities within the US.  The delegation was led by Supreme Court Justice Ekaterina Gasitashvili.

IAWJ President, Hon. Vanessa Ruiz met with them at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (pictured above). Following that meeting, they met with judges of the DC Superior Court. The delegation also met with IAWJ Board of Managerial Trustees member, Judge Ann Walsh Bradley at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Among other things, they discussed the benefits of women judges’ associations and how to form one.

Finally, the NAWJ-NY Justice Marguerite Grays hosted a visit by Judges from the Republic of Georgia who were interested in meeting U.S. judges and specifically women judges.  The conversation was really impressive and productive.  Both delegations spoke about the importance of an independent Judiciary and the support of organizational groups like our National Association of Women Judges – US (NAWJ) and the IAWJ. 

There was a discussion of the different types of Courts and how effective they can be to resolve cases.  Judge Marsha Hirsh lead the discussion about how a dedicated part like the Drug Part can help communities at large.  Justice Carmen Velasquez spoke about the need to help each other as justices and promoted the need for forums that can assist the justices.  There was an interesting discussion about the different types of judges in the U.S. courts as some of us are elected and others are appointed by different authorities i.e. Mayor, or Governor. 

Each of the judges introduced themselves and gave a small history of who they are and what they do.  All the judges of the Republic of Georgia were invited to set up a local chapter of judges and to become members of the International Association of Women Judges.  Referrals and information of the IAWJ staff and President Vanessa Ruiz were given.  The State Department had interpreters for the delegation of judges of the Republic of Georgia. 

All the judges from the Republic of Georgia were appointed by parliament and for a different amount of years.  However, the most important discussion was the ability to speak to other judges and be able to have a positive interaction with our own U.S. delegation.   

From left- to right in front row: Ketevan Gviniashvili -Reaves (Interpreter), Sophio Lejhava (Judge of the first instance court  in  Mtskheta); Tamar Chikhladze (Judge of the Tbilisi City Court); Ekaterine Gasitashvili (Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia); Ana Chogovadze (Judge of the Tbilisi City Court); Ia Labadze (during our visit she was a Judge in Marneuli municipality Court , but now she moved and works as a Judge of the Tbilisi City Court); Irina Moore (Interpreter).
Second row standing NAWJ-NY:  Joanne Lopresto, secretary to Judge Grays; Nicole McGregor, Court Attorney to Judge Grays; Judge Tracy Catapano-Fox, Civil Court; Justice Janice Taylor, Supreme Court and President of the NYC Supreme Court Justice Association, Judge Marsha Hirsh, Court of Claims in Charge of Queens Drug Court Part, Justice Marguerite Grays, Supreme Court and President of NAWJ- NY chapter; Justice Carmen R. Velasquez, Supreme Court and in charge of Eminent Domain Queens County; Judge Lourdes Ventura, Civil Court and Past President of Women’s Bar; Associate Justice Valerie Braithwaite-Nelson, Appellate Division Second Department, and Referee Elizabeth Yoblon.   

The Georgian judges were sponsored by the US State Department International Visitor Leadership Program.