Are Hawaii Laws Governing Conflicts Of Interest for Judges Effective

Hawaii doesn't have effective laws governing conflicts of interest for judges, according to the State Integrity Investigation.

Hawaii received an overall D+, or 67 percent, grade for Judicial Accountability.

But it got a 46 percent score when it came to the effectiveness of its regulations governing judicial conflicts of interest.

This was largely because in practice the regulations restricting post-government private sector employment for state judges aren't effective, judges' asset disclosures aren't audited and there are no restrictions on judges setting up non-profit organizations that can be used to reward political supporters.

Overall, the State Integrity Investigation ranked Hawaii 10th after Civil Beat reporters researched 330 “Corruption Risk Indicators” across 14 categories of government. (Click here to learn more about the methodology used for the project.) It ranked Hawaii 31st for Judicial Accountability. And its worst score when it came to the five questions that resulted in the Judicial Accountability grade was for the effectiveness of its conflict of interest regulations.

Bottom line: Hawaii could have much more effective laws governing judicial conflicts of interest.

Here's the basis for the 46-percent grade that contributed to the overall 67 percent for Judicial Accountability. It's your turn to evaluate whether Civil Beat got it right and to share what you think should be done to improve the situation. Share your comments at the bottom of this story.

Here's the fourth question the State Integrity Investigation asked regarding Judicial Accountability.

Are the regulations governing conflicts of interest for the state-level judiciary effective?

Overall score: 46%

Here are the criteria Civil Beat used to answer that question and what Civil Beat found.

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