Rule of Law Project Meets 'Arbitrary and Capricious' Obstacles in Vologda, Russia


This article reports on the results of a cross-cultural program focused on post-secondary and graduate education funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the United States Department of State (State Department) through the Freedom Support Act. The participating institutions were two schools from the United States, Franklin Pierce Law Center (FPLC) and University of New Hampshire (UNH) as well as one from Russia, the Vologda State Pedagogical University (VSPU).

The program included classroom observation, research, and visits to legal and judicial offices in New Hampshire for Russian participants, and demonstration teaching by New Hampshire participants in Vologda. For U.S. participants, the grant provided the opportunity to become familiar with post-Soviet Russia and to observe the transition from the pre-Gorbachev Soviet era to the post-Soviet Putin era on location. Goals for the Russian participants included the establishment of clinical education at the Vologda law school, the development of new course offerings, and to gather materials for comparative teaching and research.

Although the partnership met many of its stated goals, it was also noted that the program has faced many obstacles. Due to the number of problems that were encountered over the first four years that the program took place, the participants decided to suspend activities and have yet to determine whether to continue the partnership through the final sum of funds available.

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New Hampshire Bar Journal

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