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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks At the Dedication of the International Law Information Center
Brno, Czech Republic, March 6, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: (In Czech) I would like to thank you for the warm words. I am very pleased to be here with you.

I am delighted to be here in Brno, the judicial center of the Czech Republic, and I thank Chief Justice Wagnerova for her very warm welcome.

I like this -- three women here together.

As I said earlier at the University, the United States and the Czech Republic are partners in many fields related to the development of democratic practices and values. One of the most important is the field of law.

Strong judicial and law enforcement structures are essential to enable citizens to know that they will be treated well and fairly and equally by the courts and police. They are also vital for a nation to be secure from international criminal organizations. And they help build prosperity by creating the right climate for foreign and domestic investment.

Creating a truly professional and independent legal system takes effort and time. It must be done on a step by step basis. And I am pleased to mark two such steps today.

First, along with the Chief Justice, I am delighted to officially open the International Legal Information Center.

This library will make available the latest printed and online materials about laws on both sides of the Atlantic. This should prove a very valuable legal resource, and I am pleased that its creation has been supported by contributions from the United States Government, including a generous donation from the United States Supreme Court. It is also being established in cooperation with the American Bar Association and CEELI, the Central and Eastern European Law Initiative. And I am very pleased that Mr. Bill Moyer is here with us. He has been a partner in this for the last seven or eight years, we have worked, and so I'm very glad to have you here.

Second, I am pleased that CEELI is establishing a Regional Training Institute here in the Czech Republic. This will provide a center for training legal and judicial officials from more than twenty countries. The goal will be to help legal professionals to provide better, prompter, and more reliable justice to citizens across the region.

I want to add more generally that the United States is continuing to cooperate with the Czech Republic on a full range of law-related issues. These include initiatives to fight transnational criminal activity, trafficking in women, drug smuggling and cyber crime.

These efforts include both government to government contacts, and work with law schools and other institutions dedicated to high standards of ethics and law.

In all of this work, we have found the Czech Republic to be a superb partner due to the values we share and the commitment our governments have made to real democracy. And as the Chief Justice said it is most appropriate that we're doing this on the anniversary of Tomas Masaryk's birth, who was the epitome of a legal system, democracy and the rights of individuals. And I am very proud to be here representing the United States, especially as a Czech-born American.

(applause)

[End of Document]
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