In this episode of Transform Hawaii Government's (THG) Digital Talk Story series, Executive Director Christine Sakuda speaks with Hawaii State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald about COVID-19’s impact on the court system, how the judiciary is engaging with students across the state, and technology’s role in making the courts more accessible to the public.
Chief Justice Recktenwald was sworn in on September 14, 2010 after previously serving as an Associate Justice from May 11, 2009, and Chief Judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals from April 2007.
In this Digital Talk Story conversation, Chief Justice Recktenwald shared that the pandemic has been transformative in bringing about the increased usage of technology in the court system. They were able to implement a strategy to move as many proceedings as possible onto remote platforms and have been able to hold roughly 20,000 remote hearings a month. As a result, the courts are working to be more accessible and easier for people to engage through the adoption of technology.
He also discussed the court’s outreach into the community, particularly to the younger generation, and efforts to get them engaged with Hawaii’s judiciary system. Their program, “Courts in the Community,” allows high school students to experience how the Hawaii judicial system works with attorneys arguing real cases at high schools across the islands. Technology has played a role during the pandemic in enabling more students from different parts of the state to get involved through virtual activities.
Looking ahead, Chief Justice Recktenwald shared that the courts are mapping out a strategy to keep remote proceedings as part of their operations going forward and that the goal is to continue making things more accessible for the public.
THG extends its appreciation to Chief Justice Recktenwald for taking the time to join us for our Digital Talk Story series.
Watch Episode 14 of the Digital Talk Story series here.