29 Judges J. 1 (1990)

handle is hein.journals/judgej29 and id is 1 raw text is: They Must
Not Stand
A one
An Editorial By Francis J. Larkin

At a November 4, 1989, meeting of the Judicial
Administration Division (JAD) Executive Com-
mittee, we heard the news that two more members
of the Colombian judiciary, Maria Elena Dias and
Carlos Valencia, had been brutally struck down in
violent bomb attacks. They were murdered because
they had offended the drug lords of that country.
They were murdered for simply discharging their
judicial duties and enforcing the rule of law in Col-
ombia. The courage of those judges and of other
judges and officials in Colombia who stand up to
this narco-terrorism is a model for us all.
When this news reached our meeting room, there
was a palpable sense of outrage at this latest inci-
dent. Although there had been nothing on our for-

mal agenda concerning this subject, the meeting was
briefly adjourned, and the accompanying resolu-
tion (see box) was prepared. It was unanimously
adopted by the JAD Executive Committee and later
ratified by the entire Council. Following this ac-
tion, the full text of the resolution in support of the
judiciary of Colombia was released to the national
media by the ABA.
The resolution should not be viewed as empty
and sterile rhetoric. Rather, for judges everywhere
it contains words to live by. In the progress of man-
kind there are times that call for extraordinary
courage, fidelity, and perspective. Such times chal-
lenge men and women to stand in gratitude for acts

JAD Resolution on the
Colombian Judiciary

Independence, impartiality, and moral cour-
age long have been deemed the most esteemed
and indispensable qualities of judges. With
these qualities, individuals discharging the ju-
dicial function ensure that their decisions
achieve true justice among men and women,
and between governments and citizens, regard-
less of status, place, or position. These qualities
also tend to assure decisions which reinforce
the principle that no person is above the law
and that no individual, or group of individuals,
may flaunt the law with impunity.
That is why recent events in Colombia have
aroused moral outrage of the international ju-
dicial community. The direct, contrived, and
contemptible attack on the judiciary of Co-
lombia has been an exercise in infamy without
parallel in modern judicial history. The inju-
ries, death, and destruction inflicted on these
brave men and women because they do seek to
discharge the judicial function without fear or
favor, is a direct, brutal, and calculated assault
on judges everywhere. It is an assault which
strikes at the very heart of the judicial process

wherever fair-minded jurists seek to discharge
that noble function.
Accordingly, the Judicial Administration Di-
vision of the American Bar Association de-
nounces this flagrant and calculated attempt to
intimidate the judiciary of the Republic of Co-
lombia. We ask judges, lawyers, government
officials-and fair-minded citizens every-
where-to take all possible measures to mani-
fest unalterable revulsion and opposition to
these measures. We call on the Government of
the United States to provide all feasible sup-
port in assisting the Colombian government to
deflect and ultimately defeat these measures.
Above all we want our fellow judges in Co-
lombia to know that they do not stand alone.
The judges of the American Bar Association
stand with them in their hour of torment and
crisis; confident that the unflagging moral and
physical courage which they have demon-
strated will ultimately prevail; confident, al-
ways, that with a united stand, the light of the
Rule of Law will prevail over the darkness of
the Rule of Anarchy.

Winter 1990

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