Friday, August 15, 2008

Upcoming Challenge of Discipline for Judicial Whistleblowing

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All lawyers and former lawyers, directly or indirectly disciplined for purportedly disparaging a justice, judge, judicial officer, and/or quasi-judicial officer -

National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. (NJCDLP) is developing a campaign to hopefully persuade at least three (3) international figures [i.e. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Transparency International, and Amnesty International USA] to join a coalition of individuals and NGOs in lobbying the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees for appropriate legislative action on behalf of lawyers and former lawyers, professionally disciplined for judicial whistleblowing.

The campaign would be premised on these findings of the Judiciary Advocacy Working Group of Transparency International (TI) in its global movement against corruption:

1. "It is the poor and disadvantaged who suffer disproportionately from judicial corruption due to their marginalized status and inability to pay bribes";

2. "It is therefore crucial that the transparency of the judiciary be continuously scrutinized, and when found to be lacking, enforced with particular momentum in order to prevent the weakest sections of the society to bear the costs of corruption in the judicial system";

3. "It is often . . . individuals of integrity within the judicial system itself who speak out against specific instances of corruption";

4. "The recognition that (an) independent judiciary is the prerequisite for rule of law is to be found in nearly all major human rights conventions".

Among other things, TI recommends the implementation of "confidential and rigorous formal (complaint procedures)" to protect judicial whistleblowers in light of the above and related findings (emphasis added). However, its key recommendations for judicial accountability and discipline fail to directly protect and/or help vindicate as needed, lawyers whom authorities have identified as judicial whistleblowers. Federal interests and rights are accordingly implicated for the United States, its citizens including court officers and particularly lawyers wrongfully disciplined for judicial whistleblowing, their spouses and dependents, as well as people and organizations that would otherwise have the benefit of their representation.

If you would like to help develop the aforementioned campaign (which need not be launched in the name of NJCDLP) to include development of an appropriate white paper, supportive petition, initial press conference, and public awareness campaign, PLEASE: reply to this email with your phone number, state of residence, and a brief account of the relevant disciplinary action you have endured.

For the sake of our records, I would appreciate the indicated reply, even if you have already communicated with me about the campaign at hand.

Thank you,

Zena Crenshaw,
Executive Director - NJCDLP / The 3.5.7. Commission / CARCLE
Treasurer - International Association of Whistleblowers and
Host of the Internet Radio Show - Change Of Venue

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