Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Washington State Bar Association Votes to Support Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

From my pal Marti Schmidt:
"On July 24, 2010, at its meeting in Leavenworth, the Board of Governors (BOG) of the Washington State Bar Association voted to adopt the resolution proposed by the World Peace Through Law Section to support U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to educate on the importance of ratification and the articles and goals of the treaty. The WPTL resolution was endorsed by the International Practice and Juvenile Law Sections and opposed by the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section. Letters in support of the resolution were sent by Steven Reisler, president of the Washington Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and by attorney Rita Bender of Seattle.

The proposal to adopt the WPTL resolution was made by Marc Silverman (Dist. 1). Present and voting for the resolution were governors Brian Comstock (Dist.8), Loren Etengoff (Dist. 3), Anthony Gipe (At Large), Leland Kerr (Dist. 4), Roger Leishman (Dist. 7 West), Catherine Moore (Dist. 7 East), and Marc Silverman. Opposing the resolution were governors Gibbs (2), Haskell (7 Central) and Heller (9).    

The Washington State Bar Association is the first state bar association in the U.S. to adopt a resolution endorsing ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In doing so, it joins other prominent legal organizations already supporting ratification such as the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the American Bar Association, and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, as well as hundreds of other groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

For more information, contact Martha L. Schmidt, Chair of the World Peace Through Law Section, 206.382.6600"
I had a small part to play in this process, mostly formatting the newsletter explaining CRC to our Section's membership, and also writing to my BOG representatives. Frankly, I had not expected this to pass on the first go; there's a lot of misunderstanding of how treaties work, and from that comes a lot of worries that don't really apply. I'd thought it would be a long process taking years to get this endorsement. However, sometimes calm discussion wins out - let that be a lesson to me!

And congrats to Marti and Jana Heyd and all the other people who worked hard on this resolution. On the evidence, they are good leaders for WPTL!
More information on the CRC: http://www.unicef.org/crc/ 

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