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William S. Richardson School of Law

Fifteen Pacific Island judges were in Honolulu during July 19–25 for a week of intensive training at the William S. Richardson School of Law as part of the Pacific Islands Legal Institute administered by the Ninth Circuit Pacific Islands Committee.

The committee is composed of federal judges of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, headquartered in San Francisco.

This specialized program—financed by the U.S. Department of the Interior—is designed to provide legal training to Pacific Island judges who do not have law degrees. In several Pacific jurisdictions prominent community members sit as judges, but they may not have legal backgrounds.

As part of the institute, the judges received training in the rules of evidence taught by UH Mānoa Law Professor John Barkai, and they also visited courtrooms in Hawaiʻi. The Institute has been organized by the Ninth Circuit’s Pacific Islands Committee chaired by The Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, who was also in attendance.

“The judges come from Palau, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands,” said Minara Moredecai, director of special projects for Richardson Law School. “The judges never had a chance to attend law school so this training is intended to help them learn together, and strengthen the rule of law in the Pacific.”

Read the William S. Richardson School of Law news release for more information.

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