The Honorable Judge Bernard Choueiri, Chief and Presiding Judge of the Court of appeals of Nabatiyeh Governorate of the District of Nabatiyeh, South of Lebanon, was a special guest of honor and honoree at the AHRC “Spirit of Humanity” Gala held on May 12, 2016 in Dearborn, Michigan. Judge Choueiri was presented with a Tribute of Leadership and Certificate of Appreciation for his outstanding services upholding the integrity of the Lebanese judicial system. Judge Choueiri is known as one of the pillars of the Lebanese judicial system and one of its guardians.
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) extends its sincere appreciation to all the Judges and their respective courts who granted Chief Judge Choueiri this opportunity during his limited stay in Michigan.
“Indeed, it was an honor meeting my colleagues and I appreciate the warm welcome by fellow Judges in Michigan. It was a true learning experience for me,” Said Chief Judge Bernard Choueiri. “I am grateful to AHRC for granting me this honor and the opportunity to be in Michigan. The Tribute of Leadership and Certificate of Appreciation I received is a tribute to all my colleague judges here in the United States and in Lebanon,” continued Chief Judge Choueiri.
AHRC extends it appreciation to U.S. District Court Judge, George Caram-Steeh, who welcomed Judge Choueiri to the Federal Bench where he met the Honorable Denise Page-Hood, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan. AHRC-USA reiterates its commitment to advancing these bridges of understanding between our U.S judicial system and Lebanon and the region.
Judge Choueiri was warmly welcomed at the Wayne County Circuit Court, Oakland County Circuit Court, 19th District Court in Dearborn, 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights and the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge Choueiri had the opportunity to witness live trials in progress to observe the local court proceedings compared to the Lebanese court system.
“It was indeed an honor to host the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Bernard M. Choueiri of Lebanon in the Oakland Circuit Court recently. As Dean of the Oakland County Circuit Court, it has been an honor over the years to serve as a Judge but it is always special to share information and show off our court to international visiting jurists. Judge Choueiri had an opportunity to observe a civil jury trial, criminal call and tour the entire Oakland Circuit Courthouse, meeting our Chief Circuit Judge Nanci Grant and Chief Probate Judge Linda Hallmark along with so many others and culminating in a photo opportunity that would put the United Nations to shame. We were all impressed with Judge Chouieri’s strong interest in our United States Constitution and its impact on the American Court system, including its similarities to the Court system in Lebanon. Of course one big difference discussed was the strength of the American jury system. However, overall the independence of the judiciary and the desire to promote justice were key factors that we as jurists hold in common and could all agree upon. “Interestingly the goal of dispensing fairness and justice in our courts and treating one another the way we would want to be treated regardless of race, religion or any other factor are paramount and at the foundation of good judges everywhere! Judge Choueiri will never forget the judges of the OCC and we will never forget him! Judge Choueiri and his beautiful wife also encouraged all of us to visit Lebanon in the near future,” said Dean Judge Denise Langford Morris.
“We at the 19th District Court in Dearborn believe that our system of justice is the best system known and available to mankind. We advocate and promote the application of our system universally. This week we had the pleasure and privilege to host a high-ranking judicial official from Lebanon. We gave him a tour of the 19th District Court and an overview of how our system works. It was a mutually rewarding experience and an opportunity to compare notes on many judicial topics,” said Salem Salamey, Chief Judge 19th District Court.
“We at the 20th District court were honored with the presence of our Lebanese colleague, the Honorable Chief Judge Bernard M. Choueiri of the Court of Appeals of the Nabatiyeh Governorate, this past Thursday May 19, 2016. Chief Judge Choueiri enlightened us with policies and procedures of the judicial system in Lebanon while himself being informed on how the judicial system operates in the United States. We thoroughly appreciated Chief Judge Choueiri taking the time to visit our Court and wish him a safe return to Lebanon,” said David Turfe, Chief Judge of the 20th District Court.
“Chief Judge Choueiri is a true inspiration,” said Dr. Opada Alzohaili, AHRC’s President. “AHRC-USA’s entire team was honored to have him as our guest of honor at our “Spirit of Humanity” Gala on May 12,” continued Alzohaili.
“Chief Judge Choueiri is a model of judicial integrity and a true guardian of justice in Lebanon,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC’s Executive Director.