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ASU law professor to attend Kosovo Youth Assembly

March 04, 2013

Professor David Kader will return to Kosovo this month to attend the Kosovo Youth Assembly, the first statewide assembly of Serbian and Albanian youths in a policymaking body.

The Assembly, to be held March 15, is part of a project developed by Arizona State University and led by Stephen Batalden, director of ASU’s Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies. It is based on the U.S. model of Girls’ State and Boys’ State youth leadership gatherings sponsored in each U.S. state by the American Legion.

The Kosovo project began as the ASU Future Voters, with voting exercises, and expanded into a statewide student leadership project organized around nine municipal youth councils. These councils have been created in the seven largest urban centers in Kosovo (Prishtina, Gjilan, Mitrovica, Peja, Ferizaj, Gjakova and Prizren), as well as in two Serbian communities. 

At the upcoming Assembly, these nine councils will meet in the new Kosovo Parliament building for a day-long session debating and voting on substantive policy issues.

The U.S. ambassadorial corps in Kosovo has been invited, and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker will open the Assembly on behalf of the State Department.

Kader spent a week in Kosovo in May evaluating and assisting the new Municipal Youth Councils, particularly those in the cities of Mitrovica, Prizren and Gjakova.

The trip was organized by the Melikian Center and sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The team also met with the mayors of the cities and with judicial members of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

Kader is an affiliate faculty member at the Melikian Center, which is a comprehensive research and training center with both instructional and research mission. He is also an affiliate with ASU’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Center for Jewish Studies, as well as the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies. He teaches in the areas of criminal procedure, torts, state constitutional law and religion and the Constitution.