Irish justice visits Indy

March 16, 2009
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From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger:

While it’s one thing to hear from a law school that it is internationally recognized,

it’s a little different to hear that from the Chief Justice of Ireland. “I was glad to be back at the law school,” Supreme Court of Ireland Chief Justice John L. Murray told Indiana Lawyer before getting on a plane to head home. He had visited Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis’ Program in International Human Rights Law in March 2005, and said he was happy to return for the law school’s annual James P. White lecture March 10.

“The school has a very good reputation. I was granted the opportunity and privilege to do this lecture,” he said, adding it was “gratifying to see members of federal and state judiciary” in attendance.

At the talk, he explained from a European standpoint the role of what he referred to as “super-national” courts: the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg, and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. He has served as counsel in cases before both courts.

He acknowledged there is no real comparison in the U.S. system, not even how the U.S. Supreme Court is over the state courts. One way he explained how the “super-national courts” work for Americans in the room was to imagine a court of all the countries of North America and South America that would have to decide a case as controversial as Roe v. Wade not based on a majority, but based on a consensus – no easy feat.

While this may have been difficult for some audience members to grasp after only an hour of discussion, the topic of international courts can’t be ignored.

“The globalization of ideas has affected justice by the phenomenon of ready access to opinions and judgments from judges and professors from around the world, particularly those with democracies that have written constitutions,” he said.

He also met with federal and state judges at a private luncheon March 10.

While there, he said he was impressed when he learned how Indiana handles case management issues and mediation, something he said was “very useful,” and can serve as “fine inspiration for solutions to (similar) problems in Ireland’s courts.”

During his time in Indianapolis, he also took a tour of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

“It’s one of the nicest art museums I have ever visited,” he said. “The works you have here are quite spectacular. I was hugely impressed by the impressionists and post-impressionists.” The last time he was in Indianapolis, the IMA was undergoing renovations.

Chief Justice Murray is just one of many international judges to visit Indianapolis, including November 2008 visits from Australian and Ukrainian judges.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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