As part of its response to HR 21, Urging the Hawaii Chapter of the American Judicature Society and the Hawaii State Bar Association to analyze and Assess the Role of the Judiciary Within the Constitutional Framework of Government in the State of Hawaii, which was adopted on March 8, 2018, the AJS conducted a forum on Hawaii’s Three Branches of Government: A Frank and Open Discussion on September 28, 2019. The forum brought together members of the judiciary, legislature, and administration to reflect upon and discuss the respective roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government to ensure responsible governance.

Larry S. Okinaga, chair of the AJS Board of Directors, opened the forum and introduced Governor David Ige who presented the welcome address. This was followed by presentations from the following panel of speakers:

  • Avi Soifer, Dean, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law
  • Hon. Clare E. Connors, Hawaii Attorney General
  • Hon. Michael Broderick, President & CEO, YMCA of Hawaii; Hawaii Judge (ret.); Hawaii Administrative Director of the Courts (ret.)
  • Hon. Colleen W. Hanabusa, U.S. Congress (fmr.); Hawaii Senate President (fmr.)

Forum attendees participated in table discussions and questions/answers with panelists which were facilitated by Linda Colburn. Douglas S. Chin served as emcee of the event.

More than 100 persons attended the forum and 75 submitted evaluations of the event. The evaluation form included a rating scale consisting of five choices–poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent—for various aspects of the forum. The following presents the percentages of respondents who gave good/excellent ratings to the:

  • Forum overall: 100%
  • Panel presentations: 100%
  • Table discussions: 100%
  • Ability of respondents to get to know and interact with the other branches of government: 98%
  • Questions and answer session: 97%

In addition, 96% of the respondents indicated they would recommend the forum to a colleague, and 84% felt the forum increased their understanding of the three branches of government.

A full report of the forum, Report of the House Resolution 21 Committee of the American Judicature Society, can be found on this website under “Publications”.