An Extraordinary Honor

By Tunheim, John R. | Judicature, July/August 2008 | Go to article overview

An Extraordinary Honor


Tunheim, John R., Judicature


It has been an extraordinary honor for me to serve this past year as President of the American Judicature Society. AJS is a truly exceptional organization of individuals who are passionate not only about making the American legal system more fair and just, but also about securing the judicial independence that is the strong foundation of our system.

I told the annual meeting of the membership of AJS in New York that in many ways this has been a year of calm for AJS, a year of growth, development, and achievement. I am proud to serve with our very active AJS Board of Directors. Our Board Committees are revitalized and we are achieving many of the goals of our strategic planning process. The National Advisory Council continues to grow and provide excellent support for AJS.

I believe that AJS staff is as strong as it has ever been and keeps getting better. Executive Vice President Seth Andersen leads a talented group of veterans and newcomers in Des Moines, Chicago, and Greensboro who provide support and leadership for our important goals. Of special note this year has been the restructuring of the AJS Institute of Forensic Science and Public Policy. I am confident that our new partnership with Elon University and its School of Law will lead to significant contributions in ensuring that our criminal justice system is fair to everyone.

We have been working to contribute the special AJS expertise to international rule of law development. AJS has been an active participant in the ABA World Justice Project and I see much opportunity for our skills to be utilized in helping to build effective judicial systems in developing democracies. Speaking of the American Bar Association, we have reconnected with our longtime partner, realigning our Board meetings to facilitate our members' participation in both organizations. It is gratifying to see the great success of new ABA President Tommy Wells who was an effective member of the AJS Board in the recent past.

The AJS family suffered a loss this past year with the death of former President Deirdre O'Meara Smith.

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