Disc 1 Track 03. Continuation of John Channon backy to Ricky Schwartz, then to Gill Johnston.


Disc 1 Track 03. Continuation of John Channon backy to Ricky Schwartz, then to Gill Johnston.


Disc 1


Series 1: Memorabilia
Oral History/Testimony - A Law School for Hawaii






Hawaii State Judiciary Committee


John Channon, Ricky Schwartz, and Gill Johnston


Disc 01 Track 03

John Channon:

0:00-0:15 This year, what we are planning to do, and what we detect almost completely accomplished, is to prepare an entire program cosponsored by the university at-- between the Bar Association and the university in this area.

0:15-0:19 It seems the advantages of this, and this connection with the university are many.

0:20-0:31 Of course if we have the law school here, again you can see not only would you be able to tap the resources and the materials that are available in a library, but also obviously the faculty.

0:31-0:41 The faculty which does automatically keep abreast of change of what we have invaluable resource person for purposes that this kind of a program.

0:42-0:45 I think that this all I want to touch on at this point.

0:45-0:59 I want to say in effect that we've already started, not so much in anticipation of a law school, that we've already started the program into relating the Bar Association's continuing legal education program and the university.

1:00-1:08 And we hope that this will become a part and parcel with the whole law school Bar Association program, once the law school is in--, if-- if when the law school is initiated.


1:09-1:10 Any question... (Note: this part was unclear at 1:10-1:15)

Ricky Schwartz:

1:15-1:18 I-- I'd next like to introduce a member of our committee.

1:24-1:28 I was going to talk to you on what I think is one of the most interesting topics we're engaged in.

1:28-1:30 Gill Johnston was raised in Hawaii.

1:31-1:33 Left here to go to the University of Chicago Law School 1960.

1:34-1:42 He practiced law in Chicago for four and a half years, and then was a professor of law at John Marshall Law School for four years.

1:43-1:48 He then returned to Hawaii, where he is now chief of the civil division of the Legal Aid Society here.

1:49-2:01 Uh, Gill has been doing some background work on, uh an area that we think the law school can help a great deal with and that's the assistance to the development of legal institutions in Micronesia.

2:20-2:04 Uh, maybe Gill can tell you a little more about it.

2:05-2:19 (No Dialogue)

Gill Johnston:

2:18-2:22 [inaudible]

2:20-2:30 At the offset, I would just like to confess that I don't view myself now and I don't anticipate that I will be an expert in Micronesia.

2:31-2:35 And then view the fact the East-West Center is sitting on this campus.

2:38-2:47 Uh, I am aware that many of the things I say about Micronesia are generalities and are not if properly refined accurate.

2:48-3:00 With that start, I would just briefly describe Micronesia, which is usually equated to the Trust Territories of the Pacific.

3:01-3:10 And it breaks down into three major island groups: the Marshall, Carolinas and the Marianas.

3:11-3:22 Now, the area of this group is 700 square miles and the population is approximately 95,000 persons.

3:23-3:32 And this particular area has been under the domination of various, we can call, foreign governments.

3:33-3:39 First is Spanish, then the Germans, then the Japanese, and now the Americans.

3:41-3:47 As a cultural or ethnic background, Micronesia is generally considered Malaysian.

3:48-4:04 Now, just because of the geographical spread and separation of these islands, you have a great difference in the customs from district to district, and sometimes from island to island.

4:04-4:11 Anthropologically, you have curious kinship relationships that reinforce these customs.

4:12-4:17 And you have language differences that develop, uh, over the centuries.

4:18-4:23 The languages, the local languages, are still in effect basically throughout.

4:23-4:38 However many of the people speak Japanese as a common language from their talking to persons from the other areas, or sometimes, under the American trusteeship speak English.

4:40-4:51 Basically, they, people who are experts in this area say that there are at least 9 major languages spoken in this particular area.

4:52-4:57 Now the economy is presently in flux, as most people are aware.

4:57-5:13 It's changing from basically a primitive economy into one which may be more akin to the economy that we are familiar with, in our geographical area, and our time.

5:13-5:20 The biggest business in Micronesia is, of course, the United States Government.

5:21-5:28 They employ several hundred Americans in Micronesia, and approximately 5,000 Micronesians.

5:30-5:44 Despite this, there is basically, in most areas, the traditional cashless society with the life of fishing and food gathering, a very primitive manner.

5:45-6:15 There some very simple businesses that operate in the islands, as they are spread out, such as: handicrafts; also today but running out, the collection of scrap metal, and other small items of business like that, that don't require any capital or any real business management, and can be run for a short period of time and then abandoned.

6:16-6:27 However there also big businesses developed in there: the truck trading company, I understand is a million dollar a year enterprise at this time.

6:28-6:30 There are also other small businesses developing.

6:30-6:35 The emphasis at the moment seems to be on tourism and fishing.

6:36-6:46 And this is where the economy starts to develop and the life patterns of the people living in Micronesia begin to change.

6:48-7:05 The Trust Territory, as you know is administered by the United States Government under the auspices or under an agreement, the trustee agreem-- Trusteeship Agreement with the Security Council of the United Nations.

7:06-7:10 The agreement limits the United States to administration of the islands.

7:12-7:25 Now, the government in administering the economy, excludes foreign capitol entirely and closely regulates businesses that are not controlled by the Micronesians themselves.

7:27-7:43 As far as the government directly as concerned, you have a legislative system similar to the United States Congress or at least patterned after it, and you have a judicial system.

7:44-7:57 And for our purposes, I'm going to just cover the judicial system, with no intention of slighting the importance of legislative or administrative branches of the government in Micronesia.

7:58-8:04 Basically, the Judicial system of Micronesia is composed of three different levels.

8;05-8:15 The lowest level is the community court, which is basically an informal court, which deals with minor (local) matters in the various islands.

8:16-8:20 The judges of these courts are basically Micronesian.

8:21-8:27 And the traditional or custom law exists and is applied in these particular courts.

8:30-8:40 There is an intermediary court system, which consists of one or for each of the six administrative districts that the area is divided into.

8:41-8:43 Again, these judges are Micronesians.

8:44-8:58 These courts more or less follow U.S. law because it is on this level that you are breaking away from the regulation of people's day to day life on the social level, and beginning to bring in the economic basics.

9:00-9:05 However, even in these courts the traditional law overlaps, and is applied.

9:06-9:18 The last level is called the high court, and this court is composed of three American judges appointed by the secretary of the interior, and appointed for indefinite term.

Time Summary

9 minutes 18 seconds
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“Disc 1 Track 03. Continuation of John Channon backy to Ricky Schwartz, then to Gill Johnston.,” The Archival Collections at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Law Library, accessed May 18, 2024, http://archives.law.hawaii.edu/items/show/19348.