Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau "retired" in December 2005 and planned to
focus on his longstanding professional commitment to international judicial education and the establishment of independent judicial systems based upon the rule of law.
Here he is (front row center) with
judges in Serang, Indonesia (click here for map) from all four courts--civil, religious, military and administrative. Justice Nadeau sent us this recent update:
In April 2008, I returned to Indonesia for a two month program to continue training Indonesian judges on ethics, performance and independence using the model we created last year. I participated in training all the appellate court judges by making presentations, facilitating discussion and engaging in question and answers at a workshop in Jakarta. We also trained 400 trial judges at workshops in Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Bandung and Serang. We also trained 100 judges at a workshop in Surabaya to serve as trainers for other judges when our project ends in April 2009.
Using video simulations and written scenarios based upon the ten Code of Conduct guidelines adopted by the Supreme Court we engaged the judges in discussions on the importance or rejecting gifts, refusing political attempts to influence decisions and avoiding the perception of impropriety. After nearly seventy years of one man rule by Sukarno and Surhato, combined with low judicial salaries and onerous working conditions, these old habits are not easy to combat.
It is important to remember, however, that Indonesia has been a democracy for only ten years. I suspect our judiciary in the late 1700s was not the model of decorum we expect today. It is encouraging to see the eagerness of these judges to become more respected and to build a strong third branch of government. They are really interested in learning how judges in the United States and other emerging democracies handle these universal conduct issues.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the U.S. funding source for this project, has two distinct assistance programs: Threshold Programs and Compacts. The Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the "threshold," meaning they have not yet qualified for MCC Compact funding, but have demonstrated a significant commitment to improving their performance on the eligibility criteria. My work is for the Supreme Court of Indonesia in a Threshold Program to strengthen its institutional capacity to combat corruption in the judicial branch of government.
In August, I will probably return one more time to Indonesia for the annual meeting of the Supreme Court (believe it or not, fifty-one justices) and for a few more trainings on other islands of the country.
After that...who knows.