He's the first chief executive from a U.S. Territory to lead largest judges’ organization
Supreme Court of Guam Associate Justice Robert J. Torres was installed as the new President of North America’s largest judge's organization, the American Judges Association. An Executive Committee member of the AJA since 2016, Justice Torres is the organization’s first chief executive from a U.S. Territory.
Catherine Schaffer administers the oath of office to Justice Robert Torres
who is accompanied by his wife and Senator Mary Camacho Torres (Photo: AJA)
The AJA represents all levels of courts and jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and Mexico and has been in existence for nearly 60 years. Justice Torres’s installation occurred at the AJA’s annual conference held this week in Lihue, Kaua, Hawaii, an event Justice Torres assisted in organizing as its chairperson.
Also, Justice Torres was honored as the recipient of the 2018 AJA Elliott Zide Award which recognizes significant contributions to judicial education by a member of the AJA.
In his first address to the AJA membership, Justice Torres stated that his goals as president include expanding the AJA fellowship and providing relevant learning opportunities for its members throughout his term.
“My team will work to advance organizational diversity by increasing the AJA’s collaboration with other national court-oriented organizations such as the National Judicial College and implement technology to bolster membership, revitalize committees, and connect with members unable to attend the educational conferences,” said Justice Torres.
This year’s conference was a tremendous success with judges in attendance from across the Country to include judicial officers from Canada, Micronesia, and the Republic of the Philippines. The six-day event featured discussions on a broad array of educational topics including the use of body cameras in law enforcement, youth and marijuana, domestic violence, criminal defendants’ right to counsel, criminal bail reform, and cultural and political self-determination issues in Native Hawaiian law.
“Justice Torres’ installation is very important for the Judiciary of Guam,” said Guam Chief Justice Katherine A. Maraman. “Justice Torres is committed to the ideals of the American Judges Association and his skills will greatly benefit both the AJA and our own Judiciary.”