The Rule of Law, Corruption, and Ukraine

Thursday, November 1, 2018
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Bohdan VitvitskyFormer Special Advisor to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

It is a bit odd that “rule of law,” a notion invoked as frequently in the West—particularly since the advent of the Trump Administration—as it is in developing countries such as Ukraine, would at all be elusive, and yet that seems to be the case. From the perspective of someone who has had firsthand experience with both the U.S. and the Ukrainian legal systems, Bohdan Vitvitsky will share some reflections on what “rule of law” may mean in the U.S., what it may mean in Ukraine, and what its relationship is to controlling official corruption.

Bohdan Vitvitsky served as as Special Advisor to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine in 2016-2017 following Ukrainian President Poroshenko's request to then-Vice President Biden that the U.S. recruit and sponsor Vitvitsky for the position. Previously, in 2007-2009, he served as a Resident Legal Advisor at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv involved in implementing a large corruption reduction project. Aside from these engagements, Vitvitsky served for twenty years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney investigating and prosecuting complex fraud cases, in connection with which he twice received the U.S. Justice Department’s Directors Award. He has also presented and written on corruption and rule of law as these relate to Ukraine.