Thinker in Residence Blog

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Archive for August, 2009

From Justice to Justice

Posted by peggyhora on August 31, 2009

Gabrielle Kelly, Director, Thinker in Residence

Gabrielle Kelly, Director, Thinker in Residence

After a relatively quiet weekend, I jumped back into Monday with a number of meetings.  I’ve now spent more time with the South Australian Supreme Court than California’s.  I met with Justice Thomas Gray in the morning and finished the day with the Courts Administration Authority Council meeting chaired by Chief Justice John Doyle. I received lovey books from both:  Justice Gray gave me  Dame Roma about Australia’s first woman on the Supreme Court (and, by the way, first woman QC, first woman Deputy Chancellor and Chancellor of a University, first woman to gain a vice-regal appointment as Governor of SA and the founder of the Australian Commission for Human Rights) and First Among Equals, a book about SA’s Chief Justices (but not Chief Justice Doyle unfortunately). In between I met with the chair of the Commission for Victims’ Rights and Gabrielle Kelly, Director of the Adelaide Thinker in Residence (ATIR) program, and I met with members of the Cabinet Office.  I also managed to squeeze in clearing my desk and getting further organized.  I’ve been emailing all sorts of research and papers to interested parties and continue to do enhance my knowledge of SA’s justice system.  I nestled in for a quiet dinner at home then fell asleep reading about the Australian Constitution. I’m just living La Vida Loca.   Tuesday is a “thinking day” with a meeting in the late afternoon of the SA Chapter of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and I’m hoping to see the Aboriginal art exhibit at the Museum which has the largest collection in the world.  Tuesday is also the Vernal Equinox. “A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.”  Emily Dickinson


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OZ Dictionary, Part II

Posted by peggyhora on August 30, 2009

Chuffed – really excited about.  “I’m all chuffed about that movie.”

Tucker – edibles

Stuffed – a less naughty way of swearing.  “Get stuffed.”  “That was all stuffed up”

Anti-clockwise – counterclockwise

Capisum – bell pepper

Sultana – raisin

Trolly – cart

Biscuit – cookie

Shout – my turn to buy a round.  “Next one is my shout”

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The Other NFL

Posted by peggyhora on August 30, 2009

On   I went to my first “footy” game.  (The Australians have a fondness for diminutives — “footy,” “lolly,” “pokie,” etc.)  A juvenile crime prevention/mentoring program for Aboriginal boys and girls couples academic benchmarks with playing football.  The program, called the Aboriginal Power Cup, is in its second year and has already had an effect on high school drop out rates.  Stars from the National Football League show up to encourage the kids as well.  The rules of the game include kicking goals but no passing.  They must hit the leather football with their fist rather like playing volleyball.  And they wear no padding.  Evidently being injured is just part of the game.  They do, thankfully, wear mouthpieces for protection.  The kids design their own “guernseys” (jerseys) and there is fierce competition to have yours chosen for the first prize.  The Attorney General Department is a major sponsor and the AG himself was a referee referred to as a “White Maggot.”  They had great fun trying to explain that one to me.  As they say in the travel itineraries, the rest of my day was at leisure and doing household chores.  Sunday I’m off to the Rundle Mall and am going to dinner with Pamela, my project officer, and her husband and son who is a law student.

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Friday — a day to think

Posted by peggyhora on August 28, 2009

Pamela James-Martin, my project officer

Pamela James-Martin, my project officer

I arose about 6:00 and went right to my computer to write a 500-word opinion piece for the local newspaper, The Advertiser.  It is very important that they understand the goals of my residency and, if they do, it will be a boon to my work here. I expect them to publish it next week.  I also wrote a briefing paper for the Premiere whom I meet next Wednesday.  I believe he returns home from London tonight.  He suceeded in getting Lance Armstrong to come back to South Australia next year for the “Tour Down Under.”  I met two justices of the Supreme Court for a bite of lunch in chambers and to discuss the project.  Then strolled around the Central Market until it was time for the Tenth Anniversary celebration of the Mental Health Court.  It was a relaxing day after a hectic week and I totally enjoyed myself.

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More meetings, introductory lecture

Posted by peggyhora on August 27, 2009

Thursday morning started out with a radio interview during drive time.  Once I got to the office we had a meeting with the Attorney General’s staff, a major partner in my residency.  We discussed their expectations and some of my preliminary ideas.  Then off to lunch with the Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Bolton and Asst. Chief Magistrate Andrew Cannon of the Magistrates’ Court.  Another great discussion and some tips from me on drug tretmenrt courts.  Back to the office briefly to finalize my notes for tonight’s introductory lecture than a dash to meet with Chris Eccles, Chief Executive of the Dept. of Premiere and Cabinet.  He is a very interesting man who has much to contribute and an abiding interest in the program.  We arrived at the Mercury Theater in time to watch about 100 people file in to hear my lecture which was sponsored by U. of Adelaide and Flinders Law Schools.  Both deans were there as were many faculty and other partners.  I was very pleased and got lots of good feedback.  We retired to Ragoni’s, a premiere Italian restaurant in town.  We shared primi piatti of antipasto, scallops with roe, and calamari and I had a beautiful lamb dish with brussel sprouts and mint cremolata.  We shared panna cottas for dessert.  A long, interesting day and tomorrow is mostly for thinking.

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The Key is Judicial Education

Posted by peggyhora on August 26, 2009

Rosemary Owens, Dean, U. of Adelaide Law School

Rosemary Owens, Dean, U. of Adelaide Law School

Since I was in Melbourne for two days I went in late to the office (10:30), met with Pamela and Sue to debrief our meetings of the previous week.  We’re writing great ideas and facts on index cards to file in subject matter folders.  It should help me get a hold of all the ideas swirling around.  We then headed out to the University of Adelaide, which everyone calls “Uni,”  for a lunch meeting with some faculty there.  It was hosted by Rosemary Owens, the Dean of the Law School and included health, addiction studies, pharmacology and Aboriginal studies professors.  Addiction studies offersa post baccalaureate degree that is not quite a masters.  It was quite enlightening and I look forward to working with the school. Later in the afternoon I met with Legal Services who represent indigents who need family law assistanace and criminal defense.  Just like my old Legal Aid days they are underpaid and overworked.  It’s a path that is only for the dedicated.  I went over to the new Federal Building and it is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the  outside.   Wood paneling in front of the bar and the bench that looks like Aboriginal art, lots of skylights and windows, brushed stainless steel, it is gorgeous.  There couldn’t be a bigger contrast between that courthouse and my old one built in the 70’s in the ice cube tray style with ugly blue siding.  I always hated that building.  There were about 35 judges from all jurisdictions for the “Twilight Judicial Development” series and I gave a 75 minute presentation on my personal journey in becoming a problem-solving  judge, the issues with problem-solving courts, an intro to evidence-based sentencing and judicial communication skills and it was quite well received.  A juvenile judge was quite interesed in Family Drug Treatment Courts and others came up to shake my hand enthusiastically. Some of the attendees are on the planning committee for the National Judicial College so who knows what may come of this.  I’ve spent over 20 years providing judicial education and I firmly believe that it is the key to change in the justice system.  If the judge is persuaded, it will be done.

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Melbourne whirlwind…literally

Posted by peggyhora on August 25, 2009

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

First, I made it home to Adelaide. Winds were 60-75 mph, 100-120 kph, so my flight was delayed and when it did get off the ground, it was very bumpy. I passed on a beverage in flight because I didn’t want to be wearing it. There was a bulletin issued earlier in the day urging employers to let their staff go early so they could get home before the storm. My lecture to the law students was reduced from 90 minutes to one hour. They were attentive and asked good questions and they seemed to enjoy it but with “kids” that age, who knows. I did get two very nice compiments from two young women with whom I shared the rest room afterwards. My adventure started on Mon. when Ingrid Haythorpe (whose photo you saw on one of my first posts) from the SA Atorney General’s Office and I flew to Melbourne and went straight to the Neighborhood Justice Center in the suburg of Yarra. It is a one-stop shopping service center for members of a troubled community. It is in its third year and offers about everything you can imagine from victim services to job seeking. The meeting rooms may be used by community members irrespective of whether they have business at the court. The Magistrate who presides over the court, David Fanning, is terrific and we definitely spoke the same language. I thought of my old bailiff, David You, when I went into the courtroom and saw it was surrounded by glass. My first thought: Is it bullet proof? Answer, no. It is also built with a glass wall from the corridor so the concept of transparency is certainly carried out. After leaving the Centre, I checked into my hotel which was very nice (the Monash University School of Law had booked me a modern suite), freshened up and dashed off the the book launch of “Non-Adversarily Justice” by Michael King, former magistrate of the Perth Drug Court whom I met during my trip here in 2006, Arie Freiberg, Law School Dean, and Lecturers Becky Batagol and Ross Hyams. I’ve only just started the book but it apprears to be excelent. David Wexler wrote the Forward. The Chief Magistrate, Ian Gray, did the formal launch then I presented a 30 minute talk on “American Drug Courts: A Personal Journey.” It was quite well received and I was pleased. A number of us proceeded to Sycamore, a small plates restaurant, where we feasted on squid, octopus, olives, and other delicacies. Off to bed then a 9:00 am meeting with the Dept. of Justice. Victoria (the state) has a very progressive Attorney General who has initiated a number of programs of interest to me. He even has a section on innovation. I was able to meet with about 13 people running programs I may want to recommend and it was very helpful. Ingrid went back to the airport to make an afternoon meeting and I went out to the large Monash University campus about 40 minutes from down town. I met up with Michael and we went to the Faculty Club for lunch with 6 of his colleagues. It was just lovely, very tradition but with great food (chicken on a bed of beans and chirizo). I then did a presentation for the law faculty on drug courts and why they work (thanks Doug Marlowe and Carolyn Hardin for some of the slides I used), had about 40 minutes to check email and then to the student lecture. I’m not going to the office until a little after 10:00 when Pamela (Project Coordinator), Sue (Prokect Accelerator) and I debrief and make notes from the past few days. I’m meeting with Adelaide University Law School’s Dean and others for a briefing at noon and then with the Legal Services Commission later in the day. This evening I’m presenting a program for local judges, both state and federal, in the swanky and very modern new Federal Building.

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Barossa Valley Gourmet Festival.

Posted by peggyhora on August 22, 2009

Astrid Birgden, Tx Prison Warden

Astrid Birgden, Tx Prison WardenBarossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is about an hour out of Adelaide and it is South Australia’s primary wine region. It looked a lot like Napa with the vines lining the roads. Just like Napa’s mustard fields in March, they were wide swaths of yellow but from growing rape. Just beautiful. We went to three different wineries and sampled the shiraz. We chose the first to have lunch because they had a lovely pork saltimbocca only without the cheese. The prosciutto was cooked right into the pork. Ingrid, Astrid’s sister, had the venison shank, Astrid the vegetarian canneloni. At the second winery Hamish had a Thai shrimp curry as a second course after the pork. We three women abstained. At the last winery, I opted for coffee and a cookie called an ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps that fought in Gallipoli) biscuit so named because they would hold up while being shipped long distances to the boys over seas. A combo coconut, oatmeal, maple syrup hard cookie. Very tasty. The others had lentil soup and a cheese plate. All in all a wonderful adventure. I’ve been invited to someone’s home later this evening for a risotto dinner. It will be fun to meet new people.

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Hail to the Chief

Posted by peggyhora on August 21, 2009

One of the things I really enjoy about travel is celebrating the foreigness of a new place so you know you’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy. The opposite is also true. The similarites among people are always more abundant that the differences. Last night I dined with the Chief Justice of South Australia, an Associate Justice, a Supreme Court (read “Superior” Court for California) judge, a District Court judge, The Chief and Deputy Chief Magistrates and the Court Administrator. We were in a private room in a restaurant called The Treasury. It was located in a 19th C. historical building on King William Street. We started with chatting and champagne, always a nice combination. We then ordered dinner and buckeled down to the task at hand. I wanted to know what the judges saw as possible outcomes of my residency and they were quite forthcoming. I learned loads. We then drifted to how we do things in CA, especially instructing the jury. They almost fainted when I told them it took me less than an hour in most cases. They take 3-5 because they also have to sum up the facts and note how they apply to the law. They were shocked and I was shocked and thus, we had a culture clash understanding. We told great stories, laughed regularly and generally had a fabulous time. They want me to come to their judges’ training in April and do a presentation. Of course I’d be delighted. I finally knuckled down and finished all my Power Point presentations for Melbourne so I’m ready for my trip on Monday. Today, Gourmet Festival. I can’t wait.

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Posted by peggyhora on August 21, 2009

David Wexler had highly recommended laksa at the Central Market and I finally tried it today. It’s a Malaysian noodle soup with vegetables, chicken, sea food or combo. There are bean sprouts on the bottom then thin egg noodles then the meat, etc. then a sprig of cilantro. It all floats in this divine both made of coconut milk (very light) and “secret recipe” according to the young woman who worked there. Did I mention pearls of hot oil. Oh, my. Other delights at the market were savory scones made of spinach, feta and pine nuts; fig and fennel paste, prune and walnut rolada (a gooey log of wonderfulness), Kangaroo tail (fresh), veal liver, 20 kinds of olives, 45 kinds of breads including a kalamata olive bagtard that came home with me, and every fruit or vegatable you can imagine and some you can not. I’ve never seen anything like it. Next time I’m taking my camera and will post photos on FB. Now I really have to buckle down and work on my Power Point for Melbourne.

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