Chief Justice Moon Receives National Judicial Award

Hawaii Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon has been named the recipient of the Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The award honors a state chief justice who has inspired, sponsored, promoted, or led an innovation or accomplishment of national significance in the field of judicial administration.

Texas Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, who is chair of the National Center’s Board of Directors and president of the Conference of Chief Justices, will present the Carrico Award to Chief Justice Moon on Aug. 27 during the naming ceremony for the Kapolei Judiciary Complex in Kapolei, Hawaii. The $124.5 million courthouse and juvenile detention facility, which opened in March and was formally dedicated in May, will be named the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in honor of the chief justice’s determination to facilitate access to justice by providing the residents of Oahu, court staff, and the legal community with a safe and efficient court facility.

“For nearly three decades, Chief Justice Moon has served the residents of Hawaii through his tireless leadership and support of the state judiciary,” said Mary C. McQueen, NCSC president. “His focus on elevating public trust and confidence in the justice system, passion for preserving judicial independence, and emphasis on education and professional development have served as a model for judges across his state as well as across the country. The impact of the programs and initiatives he championed will continue to be felt long after he leaves the bench.” 

Chief Justice Moon will retire from Hawaii’s court of last resort on Aug. 31 after serving as its head for 17 years. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Hawaii in 1990 by then-Gov. John D. Waihee III and elevated to chief justice in 1993.

Of the many programs Chief Justice Moon has been involved with that have impacted courts across the country, the one that best exemplifies his commitment to the enhancement of judicial administration is his 15 years at the helm of the Conference of Chief Justices’ Access to and Fairness in the Courts Committee. Under his leadership, the committee helped create the Americans with Disabilities Act Resource Center at NCSC. The committee also helped develop a diversity-education curriculum in cooperation with the National Judicial College as well as a model equal employment opportunity/diversity plan for state courts.

The Harry L. Carrico Award for Judicial Innovation is named for the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia in appreciation for his enduring commitment to the National Center and its mission to improve the administration of justice. Chief Justice Carrico participated in NCSC’s founding and in the groundbreaking for its Williamsburg, Va., headquarters. He also served on the National Center’s Board of Directors and was its chair from 1989-90.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court reform organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.

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