Judicial Studies Center launches long-distance judicial education program for Ghanaian justices

March 5, 2013Duke Law News

Professor Neil S. Siegel led a five-day seminar on the interpretation of constitutional and statutory law via video-conference with 20 appellate and district justices in Ghana during the last week in February.  The seminar was part of a pilot project that Duke Law’s Center for Judicial Studies is conducting to advance the rule of law in the sub-Saharan region of Africa.  A seminar for a new group of 20 Ghanaian justices is in the works.

“The Center is building on its success, expanding the number of courses taught by Duke Law professors and the number of countries we work with,” said Center Director John Rabiej. “The idea is to have a Duke Law professor lecture on a given subject, the justices discuss applying the lecture to local law, and the professor answers follow-up questions the next day.”

 The Center plans to invite United States federal judges to participate via video conference, providing comments and reactions from the U.S. judicial perspective during the last 10-15 minutes of each session. 

“The Center’s work  will have a profound impact on the justices in these countries, advancing the rule of law,” Rabiej said.  

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The Ghanaian Judiciary sent the following tribute recognizing Professor Siegel’s contributions to the education of justices in Ghana:




On behalf of the Honourable Lady Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana and the Board Chairman of the Judicial Training Institute of Ghana, I wish to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Prof. Siegel of the Duke University, for the skill and industry in designing and delivering through Video Conference, a series of five lectures on Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation to selected trial and appellate Judges of the Judiciary of Ghana.

Our Judges have enjoyed the lectures and are very appreciative of the commitment of Prof. Siegel to the program. Indeed, Prof Siegel’s name will go down in the history of the Ghana Judiciary as the first lecturer or resource person for the first ever Video Conference organised in the premises of the Ghana Judiciary.

We are very grateful to you, Prof Siegel.


Justice Samuel Marful-Sau.