KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A delegation of judicial officials from the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan is coming to Knoxville.

The Congressional Office for International Leadership will send the delegation to the city from October 7 through October 15, 2022, as a part of the Open World program. The delegation comprises five judicial officials, a bicultural/lingual facilitator and an interpreter. While in Knoxville, the group will be hosted by Friendship Force Knoxville.

Before coming to Knoxville, the five completed orientation in Washington, D.C. along with delegates from other countries examining rule of law in the United States. During the orientation, U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan of the Eastern District of Tennessee gave a presentation about the U.S. court systems.

Varlan is also a host judge for the Uzbek delegation’s time in the scruffy city.

In Knoxville, delegates will learn about local judicial procedures and compare Uzbekistan to U.S. court and law enforcement systems. They will observe court proceedings in federal, state and county courts, and meet with judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the federal, state and, county judicial systems.

Delegates also plan to meet with Congressman Tim Burchett and local leaders in the Knoxville Metro Area. They will also go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to discuss what legal issues come up in a park setting with Park Rangers and court officials.

According to Friendship Force, Open World is one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs. The goal of the program is to promote mutually beneficial options for depolarized engagement between future national leaders.

The founders of the program believed that direct contact between American leaders and those of other nations would benefit all involved. More than 30,000 current and future leaders from post-Soviet era countries have participated in the Open World program.