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. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well