STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1291

                                   Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.C.R. No. 160
                                        




Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii

Sir:

     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.C.R.
No. 160 entitled:

     "SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
     WRITTEN CRITERIA TO ASSESS THE QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDICIAL
     APPLICANTS AND A FEASIBILITY STUDY ON MERIT PAY INCENTIVES
     FOR JUDGES AND JUSTICES,"

begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this measure is to request the Judicial
Selection Commission to:

     (1)  Establish and publicize specific written criteria by
          which it assesses the qualifications of judicial
          applicants; and

     (2)  Study the feasibility of providing judges and justices
          with merit pay incentives.

     Testimony in support of this measure was received from the
Hawaii State Bar Association, League of Women Voters of Hawaii,
and Common Cause Hawaii.

     Your Committee finds that the establishment of specific
written criteria for judicial selection, with the public's input,
will diminish the perception of political favoritism in the
selection of judges.


 
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                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1291
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     Your Committee finds that specific judicial selection
guidelines will ensure more uniformity in selections and engender
greater public confidence that judges are being chosen strictly
on their qualifications.  Additionally, this measure will promote
more respect and confidence in the courts' rulings by elevating
the selection process to a point that leaves little room for
criticism.

     Your Committee also finds that Hawaii continues to lose
experienced judges due to pay issues.  Hawaii is the only state
in the nation that has not provided its judges with a pay raise
in the past nine years.  This measure will provide an opportunity
for the State to evaluate whether a change in judicial pay is
needed to encourage qualified judges and justices to remain in
Hawaii.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your
Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 160,
and recommends that it be referred to the Committee on Ways and
Means.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Judiciary,



                                   ______________________________
                                   AVERY B. CHUMBLEY, Co-Chair



                                   ______________________________
                                   MATTHEW M. MATSUNAGA, Co-Chair

 
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