Mongolian judges spend week in McAllen, experience court system
Then, they went to a ranch to ride horses, cowboy hats and all. The “Texas horses” were much taller than what they’re used to in Mongolia.
Cowboy hats and barbecue is exactly what they wanted out of their trip to south Texas, besides, of course, the legal education. The unexpected, pleasant surprise was Mexican food.
“It was so delicious,” Nomin Munkhbayar said. “They don’t have Mexican food back in Mongolia.”
Munkhbayar was the facilitator for the four judges during their week in McAllen. The trip was sponsored through the Library of Congress. This is the third year of the Open World program, Munkhbayar said. And the Rotary helped out, finishing the trip with a luncheon on Friday.
But for the Mongolians to visit McAllen, of all places in the United States, was especially rare. There were five other judges who also came on the trip, but they spent their week in San Diego.
Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa made the suggestion to the administrative office of the courts, which has a relationship with the Library of Congress, to bring the Mongolians here.
The Rotary Club took care of many daily routines, like meals, transportation and scheduling. The Mongolians were given a tour of La Villa detention facility. They also observed as many different levels of court as possible throughout the week — magistrates, municipal, district, bankruptcy. They also got to attend court proceedings with Hinojosa.
The jury system “amazed” the four judges — that system doesn’t exist in Mongolia. They were also impressed with the transparency of the American judicial system compared to that in Mongolia.
“The technology is really great,” Munkhbayar said, motioning how high the paperwork stacks up in Mongolia. “We just have tens of thousands of papers.”
Toward the luncheon, Munkhbayar spoke about the thrills of the trip for the judges and how much they learned.
“I’m sure their time here,” she said, “will be some of the most precious moments of their lives.”