The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 24, 2005

Judge To Discuss Bringing Healing To Kosovo Sept. 2

A Minnesota judge who helped bring justice and healing to a land slowly recovering from brutal ethnic violence and war crimes will kick off the 2005-06 Iowa City Foreign Relations Council lecture series Friday, Sept. 2. Robert Carolan will speak about "Promoting the Role of Law in the Court System of Kosovo, a UN Administered Province of Serbia" from noon to 1 p.m. at the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

Carolan currently serves as a Minnesota District Court trial judge, an appointment he has held in Dakota County District Court since 1987. Prior to his appointment, he served as Dakota County Attorney (1979-1987), Assistant Dakota County Attorney (1974-1979) and special assistant Minnesota Attorney General (1970-1974). He has been an adjunct faculty member in the trial advocacy and legal practicum program at William Mitchell College of Law for the past 20 years. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Winona, Minn., in 1967 and earned his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1970.

Carolan served as the chairperson of the Kosovo Judicial and Prosecutorial Council in 2004-2005 in Pristina, Kosovo and as an international judge with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo during 2002-2003. During his talk, he will share his experiences serving as an international judge with the United Nations in Kosovo and handling war crimes arising out of the 1999 war in Kosovo.

Carolan will also discuss the incredible experiences he had working alongside Kosovar judges, to establish the rule of law in any one of five Kosovar districts in the cities of Pristina, Prizren, Peja, Mitrovica and Gjilane. He will also discuss the role of the Kosovo Judicial Council in developing the new judicial system in Kosovo as the international community prepares to address the final international political status of Kosovo within the next year.

Carolan was one of four American judges sent to Kosovo as part of the U.N.'s mission to stabilize the country's legal system. The U.N. has controlled Kosovo since a NATO bombing campaign in 1999 forced an end to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian rebels. Handing down justice in Kosovo required adjustments on many levels: the electricity routinely went off for hours on a daily basis, heat was intermittent and Carolan and the other judges were often the lone English speakers in a courtroom that required translations of three languages -- English, Albanian and Serbian.

The noon lunch will be catered by New Pioneer Co-Op. The cost of attendance is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 140 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations cannot be received any later than noon, Tuesday, Aug. 30. Reservations may not be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made. For more information, call ICRFC Executive Director Tom Baldridge, or Marianne Weiss at 319-335-0351.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Tuesday, Sept. 6, following the noon news. This event is sponsored by the ICFRC and  International Programs with additional support from Iowa State Bank & Trust Co. and New Pioneer Co-Op.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. Annual membership fees are $50 per person, $75 for a household of two, $25 for additional house member; and $20 for full-time students or visiting scholars.

ICFRC is affiliated with International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Thomas Baldridge, 319-335-0351,