Disc 1 Track 07. Continuation of Mel Matsuda to Ricky Schwartz


Disc 1 Track 07. Continuation of Mel Matsuda to Ricky Schwartz


Disc 1


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






Hawaii State Judiciary Committee


Mel Matsuda and Ricky Schwartz


0:00-0:09 Mel Masuda : I think I will discuss this topic in terms of..well I have three aspects I would like to discuss.

0:09-0:31 First is the opportunity that exists in Hawaii for this sort of program reaching success, second is the obstacles that face this kind of program, and finally, the approach that I think the general approach that should be used in putting together an East-West comparative law program.

0:31-0:55 One of the most important features I think of this proposed program would be that it will be part and parcel of a law school that would be indeed innovative, President Cleveland was quoted in yesterday's paper saying we don't want “just another eastern law school".

0:55-1:30 Now as an eastern educated Princetonian I like to take prerogative of modifying that statement a little bit, and I’d like to say that I don't think we want one here in Hawaii anyway, quote "Just another eastern law school" that follows the traditional approach in teaching law. I think some members of the committee might disagree with that but I guess law school did a good job on me anyways.

1:30-1:50 Now such a law school as I envision would train law students not only to be merely lawyers but to be far more than lawyers, hopefully, to be leaders in whichever field they happened to be in and to have basic legal skills.

1:51-2:24 In terms of the opportunity in Hawaii that exists I think Rick has covered that and so has Bruce its just a natural thing for Hawaii it seems given the various geographic, ethnic, and for that matter, academic advantages, and when I speak of the academic advantages. I'm referring of course to the fact that the East-West center is here on the campus of the university I think that an East-West comparative law program is a natural adjunct to the East-West Center.

2:24-2:32 In fact i'm very surprised that not much more has been done to this campus to foster the development of such a program.

2:32-2:53 I’ve had a couple of interview with a person who are conversing with the academic program at the university here, and this particular area of comparative law seems that the comparative law program is not very high on the list of priorities.

2:53-3:01 The first and last conference on East West comparative law that was held here at the university was held in 1966.

3:01-3:20 I think it's partly a chicken and egg problem that is we don't have a law school we don't want to deal with comparative law and then it sort of goes around in circles, that's actually just one obstacle to get to the second aspect of my talk.

3:22-3:31 We want to deal with not only the opportunities but the obstacles and here are some of the obstacles as the committee saw it at a meeting that we had earlier this week.

3:33-3:50 One of the obstacles is definitely a need for commitment, that is the university does have to make up its mind that it is going to backup a program like this and it will indeed put its shoulder to the wheel and push very hard.

3:50-4:22 In terms of the other obstacles I think we all have to realize an East West comparative law program will have to start off small and slowly since among other things there will be a lack of materials in the field as mentioned by Bruce, there will probably a lack of students in terms of how many of your student are interested in this particular aspect and very possibly a lack of funds to cover each of these points.

4:22-4:50 Materials are scarce and only a handful of school have gotten into the area of translation and getting materials together, but I think that in itself of course is a challenge, the development of proper materials in the field, in this field ranging from case material to translation of various laws.

4:50-5:24 Now as for the student problem I think that you will find that part of the difficulty will be that most students are, let's say at least half of the students, will come to the Law School with the idea of becoming traditional lawyers that is you got to make a living somehow and to make a living you, well you become very conversant and familiar with all of the aspects of the law which will make you indeed a good private practitioner.

5:24-6:00 Now I think one of the points that the program should cover and one of the appeals of the program would be to student who want to go beyond that, a handful at first of course but students who really do are interested in being, not only, as I started off to say "mere lawyers", but also persons who have interest beyond just being private practitioners.

6:00-6:21 Now as for the matter of lack of funds I think that the commitment from the legislature will have to be forthcoming only after a program of this sort is thought out and put together perhaps in another report of this sort that’s on the desk there.

6:21-6:44 I also inquired into the possibility of getting foundation aid, there is an adjunct of the Ford Foundation called the legal reform center in New York City which helps funds programs of legal reform dealing primarily with the non-commercial aspects of comparative law.

6:45-6:58 They send various American trained lawyers to other countries and these lawyers help in various projects in the host countries.

6:58-7:36 Now these obstacles as I call them anyways I believe offer, in turn, opportunities that is the opportunity that Hawaii is for leadership and innovation and it's up to us to take advantage of that. Now as for a specific approach to a comparative law program my preliminary investigation anyway indicates that the program might be organized along the following lines: The emphasis of the program should be both theoretical and practical or clinical.

7:36-7:45 That is for example let's take a specific legal problem like minority rights in various countries.

7:45-8:06 The topic of course can be approached from a very theoretical standpoint you can delve into various hypotheticals as to how the legal framework causes this particular status, how the problems arise out of the legal framework and for that matter out of concomitant social problems.

8:06-8:27 Now the topic can be viewed from a more practical, if you want to call it that, or clinical viewpoint you can emphasize empirical research in the field with major stress on the inter-relationship trying to exactly determine what exactly the inter-relationship between existing law and social problems.

8:30-8:56 Law students are always worried about graduating of course, and so if you really want to get it down to that old work phrase “nitty gritty”, credit might also be given to a student for field work for going out into various countries and for one country or another and doing field work for a term.

8:56-9:06 I think that this is the counterpart for doing work with the legislature in the domestic field of course.


9 minutes 6 seconds
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“Disc 1 Track 07. Continuation of Mel Matsuda to Ricky Schwartz,” The Archival Collections at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Law Library, accessed February 28, 2024, http://archives.law.hawaii.edu/items/show/19352.