Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter headed an Austrian delegation to the U.S. from January 28 to February 3, 2016. His visit included meetings with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, members of Congress, Facebook officials, as well as a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail.
Los Angeles: Jail & Modern Austrian Culture
On Friday, January 29, Brandstetter met with staff members of California Attorney General Kamala Harris and visited the L.A. County Jail officials. The meetings and a guided tour of the prison grounds offered the delegation important insights into the reforms of the California prison system.
During the visit to L.A.’s MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Minister Brandstetter and his team saw the works of internationally renowned Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. The interactive exhibition uses simple props for the visitor to recreate Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures. The mission to California was concluded by a evening reception for the Austrian community of Los Angeles at the residence of Austrian Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger.
High Level Meetings in Washington, D.C.
Minister Brandstetter and the delegation traveled on to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, January 31. At a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch the minister discussed international cooperation and bilateral assistance in law enforcement. Countering online hate speech was the focus of his productive meeting with Facebook officials. At a presentation at Catholic University, Brandstetter spoke about Criminal Law Reform: Ethical and Legal Changes in Austrian Society. Meetings with Congressman Steve King (R-IA), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), a reception for the Austrian delegation to the National Prayer Breakfast, and an interview with the Politico Pro Europe Brief concluded the U.S. trip.