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October 5, 2000

Advertiser Staff

A constant struggle for the Hawaii justice system – any justice system, for that matter – is to maintain credibility and respect with the public. That is, the administration of justice only works when a majority believes it is fair and even-handed.

One of the obstacles to maintaining this understanding is the reluctance of jurists to discuss their work or their decisions outside the limits of the courtroom and written opinions. This is understandable, since rulings and opinions are not supposed to stand on their own merits.

Still, there are times when public understanding – and confidence – would be enhanced with further explanation and openness from the bench. Toward this end, Chief Justice Ronald Moon has commendably organized a committee that is looking at revising the judicial code of conduct to allow judges to speak more freely without compromising “judicial integrity.”

That committee is now accepting comments from the public.

If you think there is room for more openness and more explanation from our judiciary (and you should), then contact the committee with your views.

Comments must be submitted by Oct. 13. They may be faxed to 539-4801 or sent to the Public Affairs Office, Hawaii State Judiciary, 417 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813.

The chairman of the committee is Gerald Sekiya.