College of Arts and Sciences

Criminal Justice Professor Leads First Study Abroad Program in Colombia

Criminal Justice Professor Leads First Study Abroad Program in Colombia

Criminal Justice Professor, Giuseppe Fazari and SHU students court meeting. 

When Criminal Justice Professor Giuseppe Fazari learned that the University had not yet offered a study abroad program in South America, he volunteered to develop a Comparative Justice Systems course this past Spring that would ultimately bring a cohort of 10 students to Bogota, Colombia.

Fazari is the author of  Courthouse Confidential: Unveiling Lessons Learned in Leading and Managing Trial Court Organizations (Kendall Hunt, a leading educational and Emmy award-winning publisher), and is a subject-matter expert in the field of court administration. Fazari's consultation and professional work experience in the field spans five continents, as well as numerous states throughout the United States.

In 2019, Professor Fazari was engaged by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help strengthen the administration of justice in the Supreme Court of the Ukraine. Focusing on caseflow management and policies and procedures designed to improve courtroom procedure, Fazari designed and delivered training to the Supreme Court. In 2020 he was reengaged as a subject matter expert by USAID for the Nove Pravosuddya Justice Sector Reform Program (New Justice) in Ukraine, focused on providing a road map to the burgeoning democracy for jury trial reform

Professor Fazari and students touring in Bogota, Columbia

Professor Fazari and students touring in Bogota, Columbia

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Fazari served as subject matter expert for the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative at the Rodrigo Lara Bonilla Judicial Training School in Colombia where he co-facilitated a series of seminars in the areas of Leadership, Ethics, Implicit Bias, Procedural Fairness, and Court Technology.

The ABA's Rule of Law Initiative is designed to strengthen the capacity of the Rodrigo Lara Bonilla Judicial Training School in addressing Colombia's dynamic justice challenges and the needs of a diverse judicial system. Specifically, the program focuses on improving judicial education and the administration of justice, especially with respect to criminal law.

Along a similar vein, but with a focus instead on his students, Fazari sought to develop a course that would provide them with an overview to compare areas of law enforcement, court systems, and correctional systems between the United States and other countries. The course was designed to teach students about the historical development of the criminal justice system in the United States as a foundational element to understanding the organization of the police, the structure of the courts, and the goals of punishment as it compares to the contemporary trends and operation in other countries. The study abroad component allowed students to then focus their attention on the similarities and differences of the United States criminal justice system to that of Colombia.

Among other aspects of the embedded program, students engaged with a diverse set of agencies and officials to compare policies and practices and conduct cross-cultural analyses in the design, function, and legal basis of these respective systems. "The world is a small place and in a global economy, I believe a well-designed study abroad program is an important (even necessary) element to a student's college experience," said Fazari. "This is particularly beneficial to students seeking a career in the criminal justice field where they will have a myriad of interactions with people of various cultural backgrounds. My aim was to structure the course to give students the opportunity to build on these skills while at the same time allowing them to develop self-sufficiency and independence."

Among other locations visited, students were hosted by the Los Andes University School of Law, Paloquemao Courts, Criminal Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Soacha Prosecutors Office, Special Investigation Chamber of Supreme Court, Sergio Arboleda University, Usaquen Special Reaction Unit, Good Pastor Jail, and Javeriana University School of Law. Students also had the distinct honor of spending a half day with the Honorable Gerson Chaverra Castro, Vice President of the Supreme Court of Colombia, and Auxiliar Magistrate and Vice Minister of Justice, Ana María Ramos, of the Colombian Constitutional Court. "I am indebted to many individuals at home and in Colombia who helped to ensure that the program was a success. My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Orlando Muñoz Neira, was indispensable and I am particularly grateful to his kind and thoughtful efforts," Fazari said.

Categories: Arts and Culture, Nation and World

For more information, please contact: