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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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