Retired president of Supreme Court of Israel is visiting jurist at UH Manoa law school

Aharon Barak is the school's first Myron H. Bright Jurist in Residence

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cynthia Quinn, (808) 956-5516
Dale Lee, (808) 956-8636
William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Feb 21, 2007

HONOLULU — The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa announces that it is hosting Aharon Barak, retired president of the Supreme Court of Israel, as its first Myron H. Bright Jurist in Residence. Barak is currently in residence at the School of Law, along with Judge Myron H. Bright, through March 1.

The Myron H. Bright Jurist in Residence program was started by the Honorable Myron H. Bright, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, to complement the biannual visit to the School of Law by a Jurist in Residence of the U.S. Supreme Court. While in residence, Barak will conduct various presentations and lectures for UH Mānoa law students, address the Hawaiʻi and Federal Bar at the State Supreme Court, and speak at a public forum at the East-West Center on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 11:45 a.m.

Barak recently retired as president of Israel‘s Supreme Court after 11 years at its helm and 28 years in its service. Under his term, the Supreme Court issued rulings that have ensured the just application of the law for both Jews and Palestinians and protected democracy both from terrorism and from the means the state wants to use to fight terrorism. He was recently awarded the 2006 Justice Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation, and described as "a person of outstanding courage and principle who has devoted his life to the promotion of justice and the just rule of law."

Barak received a Master of Arts degree in law in 1958 and a doctorate in 1963, both from Hebrew University where he was later appointed associate professor of law in 1968 and professor in 1972. Barak participated in the preparation of an international treaty on bills of exchange for the United Nations, and in 1975, was named Israel‘s attorney general, a position he held for three years before his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1978.

His address to the Hawaiʻi and Federal Bar at the State Supreme Court will take place on Friday, Feb. 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Entitled "Experiences from the Bench: A Conversation on Justice and Humanity," it is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, Hawaiʻi Chapter, the Hawaiʻi Bar Association, and the International Law Section of the HSBA.

The public forum on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 11:45 a.m. at the East-West Center‘s Asia Room is jointly held by the School of Law and the East-West Center and entitled "Terrorism and Torture: The Case of the Lesser of Two Evils — Is Torture Ever Permissible?"

Judge Bright, who founded the program at the Mānoa law school, was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by Lyndon B. Johnson and has served on the federal appellate bench for more than 38 years. He also has served the cause of legal education by presenting jurists-in-residence programs, lecturing at law schools and to lawyers and judges in several states on evidence, trial and appellate advocacy, and writing extensively on those subjects in bar journals and legal publications. After military service in World War II, Bright graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1947 and practiced law for 21 years. He was also Distinguished Professor of Law at St. Louis University School of Law from 1985 to 1995, and served on the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on International Relations from 1996 to 2003.

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