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Incoming President Participates in Discussions at Historic Jordanian Justice Conference
Oklahoma City University's incoming president traveled to Amman, Jordan last weekend to participate in discussions about the Middle Eastern country's historic steps toward judicial reform. Judge Robert H. Henry, currently chief judge of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Council of the American Bar Association, was one of the distinguished guests amongst a contingent that included officials from the United States, France and Middle Eastern countries. Henry met with Jordan's Minister of Justice H.E. Ayman Odeh to hear more details about how the country will implement justice system reforms. Other participants included Hon. Hassan Gerceker, the Supreme Court of Appeals president of Turkey; the Hon. Madhat Al Mahmood, chief justice of Iraq and the Hon. Adel Abdul Hameed, chief of the Supreme Court of Egypt. Henry also met with ministers of justice, attorneys general and judicial inspectors from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Turkey. The visit was part of Jordan's Second Judicial Conference. Henry also had the opportunity to meet King Abdullah II of Jordan. Jordan's Minister of Justice H.E. Ayman Odeh has been developing his country's next Judicial Upgrading Strategy. Odeh announced in January that he has established a list of goals for the judiciary system. He hopes to enhance the independence, integrity and competence of the judiciary, the effectiveness of litigation procedures and to further develop court services and infrastructure. Henry presented remarks on how to reform and enhance criminal prosecutions. "I commend the justice officials in Jordan for their efforts to improve their system," Henry said. "Jordan has been a leader in the Arab World in advancing the rights of women, and the conference announced that a majority of students studying to be judges are now women. This is a great step." Jordan's first judicial conference was held in 2004 to begin the process of court reform. Nearly all of Jordan's 600 judges attended the conference held at the Dead Sea.