Ukrainian delegation fields student questions at LBCC


Ukrainian delegation fields student questions at LBCC
Mark Ylen/Democrat-Herald

Perry Carmichael, department chair of LBCC's Drafting and Engineering Graphics Departmen, left, shows a trebuchet designed by an LBCC student and produced by the college's dimension 3-D printer to the visting Ukrainian delegation. The group includes interpreter Mila Bonnichsen, second from left, Valentyna Antypets, Karina Makarenko, Olexander Yermak, and Kateryna Tarasova.


A delegation of legal professionals from Ukraine took a break from their weeklong schedule to take questions from students and the press at Linn-Benton Community College Monday.

The team of legal professionals came to Oregon as part of the Open World Program, a program first authorized and underwritten by Congress in 1999 to increase mutual understanding between Russia and the United States.

The Benton Center of Linn-Benton Community college was selected as a site, in part because Corvallis has a sister-city program with Ukrainian city Uzhgorod.

Questions from students ranged widely from land use to divorce law.

The delegates included Valentyna Antypets, 39, an appellate judge from Kiev; Valentyn Paliy, 33, a commercial court judge; attorneys Olexander Yermak, 26, and Karina Makarenko, 22; a facilitator, and a translator.

Key differences that emerged in the discussion included land ownership. For example, under Ukrainian federal law, it is possible to own a house, and the land under it. But the notion of corporations owning vast tracts of land is a completely foreign idea. For starters, corporations — as Americans know them — don't exist there.

"We don't have corporations, per se. But we do have consortia of banks and entrepreneurs — like a business group, "Antypets said. "There also is no land ownership, but there is land use. The land belongs to the government, and I should add that means collectively by the people. "

Other differences included mandatory sentencing. The Ukraine hasn't seen any laws like Oregon's Measure 11. Instead, each crime has an upper and lower range, and the judge has broad discretion in handing down sentences.

The delegation is scheduled to head to Salem today to observe the Oregon Supreme Court. On Wednesday, they will visit Benton County Court, and tour the Benton County Jail on Thursday. On Friday, they will have a presentation on intellectual property law from Hewlett-Packard attorney Curt Rose, then meet with two retired judges. On Saturday, they depart for Ukraine.

Over the years, the program has sent over 7, 000 current and future Russian decision makers to various parts of the U. S. to better acquaint themselves with American institutions, politics and civic life.

Recent delegations have visited many U. S. cities to study health care, non-profit organizations, media practices, leadership, and other topics.
Paliy said he hopes to share some of these experiences with his co-workers upon his return.

"I think it will expand all of my horizons, as well as everyone elses, " he said. "I also have ambitions at some time in the future to help draft legislation for my country. I think these experiences will help that as well."


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